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JONATHAN INAUGURATES PRIVATIZATION COUNCIL, VOWS TO PUNISH DEFAULTERS

By NBF News
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He gave the order at the inauguration of the new National Council on Privatization (NCP), in which Vice President Namadi Sambo, is the chairman. President Jonathan is the immediate past chairman of the council.

The inauguration of a new council is in consonance with the BPE Act, 1999.

'In any agreement or arrangement, you will have with the private sector that will take over assets of government, we must make sure that we build monitoring into it and there has to be some sanctions.'

He recalled that the whole concept of privatization, was conceived with the notion that the private sector could run businesses better than the public sector. He, however decried the recent experience where most of the privatized enterprises have not fared better.

He tasked the new Council to do thorough job before entering into an agreement on government assets, saying that the 'core interest' of government in privatizing its assets must be protected.

According to the President, 'one thing I want us to address our minds to is the whole concept of privatization which started long time ago. The Federal Government delegated some of its responsibilities to the private sector over the period. We believe the private sector will handle things better that than the public sector.

'But the whole story about privatization has not been as successful as Nigerians expect it to be. The feeling is that a number of enterprises that have been privatized by the Federal Government are not doing too well. 'So, these are the kind of areas the new Council members should address, the ones that had been done and the new ones that are yet to be done.

'In any arrangement, you will have with the private sector that will take over assets of government, we must make sure that we build monitoring into it and there has to be some sanctions.

'The idea of privatizing government assets is to make sure that they are better managed to create jobs and wealth for our people. Because if enterprises have been privatized and over the period, some of them over 10 years are still dead, probably people who bought them never knew the kind of business they were gooing in for or probably on our own part, we did not give enough protection to the whole transaction'.

President Jonathan noted that the Federal Government spent so much money to set up the enterprises that are now slated for privatization, insisting that 'by privatizing these enterprises, we expect that the core interest of government, creating wealth and jobs must endure'