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Published On: Tue, Oct 7th, 2014

Privatisation of refineries still at consultations stage-BPE

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DG-BPE-Benjamin-DikkiBy Etuka Sunday

The Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Benjamin Dikki has disclosed that the plan privatisation of Nigeria’s four refineries was still at the consultations stage.

Dikki who spoke at the 9th Abuja International Trade Fair said, consultations were ongoing with major stakeholders like labour and other relevant unions like PENGASSAN, NUPENG adding that agreement has to be reached on acceptable framework before the privatisation of the refineries.

He expressed satisfaction with the statement made by the Senate President, David Mark of the possible passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the end of the legislative year, saying that the passage of the bill would give confidence to private sector investors to invest in the refineries, “so we are constraint by the absence of the law and the fact that we are holding consultations,” he said.

The BPE DG said that the Mines and Steel Department was to privatise the coal blocks and sell the remaining non-core assets of Nigeria Coal Corporation (NCC) and Nigeria Mining Corporation (NMC) in 2013 but litigations, resistance from the host communities and other stakeholders’ issues delayed the transactions.

He however, announced that the Bureau, in collaboration with the Enugu State Government, has set up a joint committee to resolve some of the issues.

Another joint committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, according to him, was set up to resolve the legal and other issues that impeded the sale process of the coal blocks.

He listed other task of the Bureau to include: Carrying out the reform of the Housing sector, concession of Stadia and the National Parks, privatisation of Abuja Stock and Commodities Exchange (ASCE), Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).

Speaking further on the progress so far made, he said the concept paper for sports reform and concession of the Stadia has been sent to the National Sports Commission (NSC) for inputs and the the response is being awaited.

For the National Parks, he said the work of the Steering Committee is ongoing and the Project Advisory Team is compiling its final report for submission to the Steering Committee, adding that PAT has already compiled recommendations on the legal and regulatory framework for the sector and will soon present same.

Given update on the privatisation of NIPPs, he said, “With respect to the two remaining companies, the bidders are expected to make their full and final payment by this October, 2014.

“The Bureau would also be working with relevant stakeholders in meeting the conditions precedent for the declaration of Transition Electricity Market (TEM) and to continue to handle post-privatisation issues relating to the Discos, Gencos and TCN,” he concluded.

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