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PRIVATIZATION: BPE SUBMITS DOCUMENTS TO SENATE PROBE PANEL

By NBF News
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ABUJA-The Senate probe panel looking into activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has collected documents detailing transactions of enterprises privatized since 1999.

The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, in a statement dated July 29, 2011 had requested privatization agency to submit copies of approvals granted it by the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, for the transactions it undertook within the period in focus.

The three-paragraph letter which was obtained by Vanguard reads: 'We understand that the Bureau of Public Enterprises commissioned a consultant to compile a report evaluating performance of all privatized public enterprises recently.

'In view of the above, the committee hereby requests for copies of each NCP approval for all concluded transactions including: Preferred and Reserved Bids (approval); Hand Over (approval); Privatisation Strategy (Approval); NCP approval for placement of proceeds in Banks; and NCP approvals for payment of terminal benefits from proceeds .

It was learnt that copies of the documents requested by the legislators were submitted to the committee on Tuesday, August 2, as requested.

It was gathered that the probe might not be targeting past Directors-General of the BPE, as feared, but part of a ground swell to stop the Federal Government push for the privatization of the Power Holding Company Nigeria, PHCN .

Sources disclosed that there was a strong interest group that have been working against the privatization of PHCN, in particular and the entire principle of privatization which has perfected a plan to halt the planned sale of PHCN's generation and distribution companies.

As learnt, what is being planned is to adopt the Brazilian style in which the Federal Government would continue to fund the PHCN and only give them to management contractors rather than selling them to private sector operators.