BPE hands over FG's 51% equity in SPDC to NNPC Pension Fund

By The Citizen
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The Bureau of Public Enterprises on Monday handed over the Federal Government's 51 per cent shareholding in Stallion Property and Development Company to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Pension Fund Limited.

The Director-General, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, said the bureau had on October 31, 2013 sought the approval of the National Council on Privatisation to divest the Federal Government's 51 per cent shares in the residual assets of SPDC to NNPC PFL.

'The request was predicated on an earlier approval granted in 2006 that the proceeds from the divestment of the Federal Government's 51 per cent shareholding in SPDC be used to part bridge the funding gap (about N63bn then) in the NNPC staff pension fund.

'In line with this strategy, the net proceeds of the first transaction were paid to the NNPC staff pension fund, which helped to reduce the liabilities. However, there were other unsold assets that did not receive any expression of interest during the first transaction. These assets were to be sold notionally to SPDC in accordance with the pre-emptive rights provided in the company's memorandum and articles of association,' he said.

Dikki noted that the notional divestment of the Federal Government's shareholding in SPDC to NNPC PFL would bridge the gap in the corporation's pension fund and would free the SPDC from government's management or control.

In his address, the Managing Director, SPDC, Mr. Mack-James Lalerbe, said the event marked the formal handover of the company to NNPC PFL, adding that it would transform the fortunes of the property development firm.

He said, 'This occasion signifies the completeness of the privatisation of the 51 per cent Federal Government shares in SPDC, which means that the NNPC PFL will own SPDC 100 per cent. Before now, SPDC was a private limited liability company owned 51 per cent by the NNPC and 49 per cent by the NNPC pension fund.

'Following the privatisation programme of the Federal Government, the 51 per cent in the company was transferred to the BPE with a mandate to sell. What we are witnessing today is a dream come true and we have no doubt that the company will bounce back as one of the leading property development companies in Nigeria.'