21 July 2014, Abuja – About 66 per cent of the privatised enterprises in the country are doing well while 34 per cent are not doing so well, the Director- General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr Benjamin Dikki has said.
He identified poor policy implementation by previous administrations as the factor responsible for the non-performance of some of the privatised firms.
He said the Federal Government is trying to create the environment that would allow private sector investments in infrastructure through the institutionalisation of sound policies, liberalisation and delineation of the roles of the parties. He added that appropriate legal and regulatory framework, mitigation of risks and introduction of independent economic regulators limiting government to policy formulation, planning and technical regulation, among others are also important steps government is taking.
According to him, 17 investors have signified interest to buy the Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd (NITEL) and its mobile arm, Mobile Telecommunications Ltd (MTEL), in the ongoing guided liquidation of the national telecom carrier.
He said about 22 investors have shown interest but five out of them were left out because of lateness.
He said: “When the time for the submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) closed, we got 17 EoIs. Five were late and were not accommodated in strict compliance to our rules.
“The 17 bidders are currently being evaluated and would go through the approval process. BPE would announce those that emerge on completion of the evaluation. They would be given a chance to do due diligence and then at the appropriate time, be asked to submit technical and financial bids.”
Dikki said the guided liquidation was not auctioning of the various parts of the company.
As for the N350 billion liabilities of NITEL, he said the Federal Government in line with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) has sought for protection so that the balance from liabilities would not go back to the treasury, noting that the liabilities are huge necessitating the choice of guided liquidation.
He said: “We are selling the company as a business unit that must continue doing business in the telecoms sector, because NITEL is the first national carrier. We have done similar things before with the AFCON, the fertiliser company which is today known as Notore.”
He said the government had opted for a guided liquidation option because the expected proceeds from NITEL would likely be less than its debts value.
– The Nation