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FG TASKS NCP, BPE ON DUE DILIGENCE

By NBF News
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By Emma Ujah
ABUJA-THE federal government, yesterday, tasked the Bureau of Public Entreprises, BPE, and the new members of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, to pay more attention to due diligence of companies vying for public enterprises put up for sale, in the on-going privatisation programme.

Vice President Namadi Sambo who gave the charge to new members of the NCP at the State House Abuja, observed that apart from Eleme Pterochemical which is running in full capacity and has paid a dividend of about N15billion, many other privatised companies did not meet the objectives for their privatisation.

He said there was, therefore, need to review the work of the NCP Secretariat through its quality control exercised on the BPE, to help reduce the risk of failure of enterprises or inability to conclude transactions.

The VP urged the committee members to 'work assiduously to make the consummation of all transactions a reality and ensure that the privatized companies are successfully run.'

He added that they should their 'very best to ensure that the transactions are accomplished through internationally accepted best practices and standards.'

'As most importantly we want to ensure a successful achievement of government objective in creating jobs for our teeming youth and therefore transform our socio-economic position in the country.

'Let me restate that all of you have been specially chosen based on your track records and wealth of experience in your fields of endeavour and the confidence government has repose on you to assist in transformation of the system in accordance to Mr. President's Transformation agenda. Therefore, to whom much is given, much is expected,' the nation's number two man said.

He blamed the failure on several factors including the lack of in-depth diligence on Investors, persistent interference from all quarters, defective contract agreement/share purchase agreements, inability of investor to raise money to pay within the stipulated period, labour problems, community problems, and rush in concluding transactions.

Other factors, according to him, included lack of capacity of investors, time for Lock-up period is short, defective monitoring systems, dead enterprises sale 'as is' method of privatization, and inadequate/Lack of working capital by investors.

Committees constituted by the Vice President were: Technical, Legal, Finance, Policy & Monitoring and the Publicity Transaction & Marketing Committees as well as sub committees created out of the Standing Committee which included Transportation, Manufacturing & Services, and Extractive Industries.

The VP charged members to bring on board, their broad experiences in various fields to bear on their assignments in order to make future transactions more successful.

The Technical Committee has Atedo Peterside as chairman. Policy and Monitoring Committee of the NCP, is chaired by Mr. Bashir Borodo, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku is chairman of the Publicity/Mobilization and Transactions Marketing Committee, while Yunus Usman is the chairman of the Legal Committee.