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We Take Oversight Functions Seriously – BPE Boss

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: THE CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING THE SALE OF NITEL CAUSED THE SACK OF FORMER BPE BOSS, MR. CHRISTOPHER ANYANWU.
PHOTO: THE CONTROVERSIES SURROUNDING THE SALE OF NITEL CAUSED THE SACK OF FORMER BPE BOSS, MR. CHRISTOPHER ANYANWU.
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ABUJA, May 19, (THEWILL) - The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, has reiterated the agency’s firm belief in oversight function and to demonstrate this "we have also entrenched this aspect of monitoring in our work schedules as exemplified in the creation of a full fledged department to carry out the post privatization monitoring activities." Through it, she explained that BPE routinely monitors the performances of privatized enterprises to ensure they abide by the covenants as codified in the Share Sales and Purchase Agreement.

Receiving members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation who visited BPE on Wednesday to kick-off a two-day oversight tour of privatized enterprises within Abuja, Onagoruwa apprised that lean budgetary allocation would hamper operations of the Bureau, particularly, the funding of critical consultancy services as BPE’s foreign donors have ceased to provide assistance.

She said that the Bureau is faced with the challenge of reforming two critical sectors this year, that is, oil and power and that enormous resources are required to make a success of the tasks.

The DG further noted that unfavourable investment climate arising from the global financial meltdown has also been a major setback to the Bureau.

Despite the challenges, she announced that the Bureau had successfully privatized 40 enterprises from 1999-2004; 69 enterprises from 2005-2006; 39 enterprises from 2007-2008; and one in 2009. In the period under review, 25 port terminals were concessioned with the National Electricity Power Authority (NEPA) corporatized and unbundled into 18 companies.

She said various bills, among them, the Railway Bill, Inland Waterways Bill, Roads Fund Bill, the Postal Sector Bill and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill have been completed and are awaiting the approval of the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF).

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ayo Arise, pledged the committee’s assistance to the Bureau in its onerous task.

The two-day oversight visit will take the committee members to all privatized enterprises in Abuja.