By Etuka Sunday
The Reform and Privatisation Programme of the Federal Government has impacted positively on some key sectors of the Nigerian economy, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh has said.
Speaking at the Nigerian Investment Showcase at Guildhall, London, United Kingdom on the topic: Public Sector Dealsrecently; Okoh listed some of the sectors as Telecoms, pension and seaports.
BPE in a statement quoted Okoh to have said that in the telecoms sector for instance, Nigeria has achieved almost100% teledensity with over 192 million connected lines while over 146 million lines have been active as at May 31, 2015 and over 40 telecoms licensed in the country.
He said reform in the sector has also brought about over a million direct and indirect jobs into the Nigerian economy while the ICT sub-sector has witnessed phenomenal growth.
On pension reforms, Okoh stated that 6.2 million contributors were registered from 180,586 employers as at October 2012 while 55,904 retirees, currently receive their monthly pensions as and when due with the total value of pension industry assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme now at over N9 trillion.
For the seaports, the DG said they now experience faster ship turn-round, faster cargo turn-round and faster truck turn-round times even as there is increased competition, lower port charges, lower freight rates and net financial transfers to the government (lease fees, throughput fees and taxes).
On the Bureau’s 2019 work plan, he revealed that BPE is expected to contribute N220.4 billion to the N8.91trillion 2019 Federal Government’s budget from its privatisation/commercialisation activities.
The funds are expected to come from some concluded transactions along with the Privatisation of the Kano Free Trade and Calabar Free Trade Zones, Partial Commercialisation of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) and Partialcommercialisation of three selected National Parks in the country.
He announced that the federal government would divest from the ten newly built ten gas-fired National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) on completion.
Okoh further revealed that from inception to date, the Bureau has successfully completed 234 public transactions through privatisation, commercialisation and concessions with the following milestones: Expanding private sector participation in the Nigerian economy; Attracting quality foreign investors and capital; Achieving a more efficient allocation of government resources by redirecting funding of public enterprises by government to other key sectors of the economy that are socially imperative such as healthcare, education; and Encouraging the private sector to be the engine room of economic growth and development.