29 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian government has relieved the Director General of its Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, Mrs. Bolanle Onagoruwa, of her appointment with immediate effect.
Umar Sani, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to the Vice President, said in a two-paragraph statement in Abuja directed Onagoruwa to hand over to Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, the most senior director in the Bureau, who is to oversee the activities of the organisation in an acting capacity.
Onagoruwa’s exit from the Bureau had been expected, given the strained relationship between her and her boss, Vice President Namadi Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, which supervises the BPE.
The vice president had been known to constantly disapprove of her actions, and always compelled her to toe the line, notwithstanding the fact that every process of the privatisation programme has to be approved by him.
It was also gathered that the atmosphere at the Bureau’s office in Abuja, was that of resignation, not only because of the anticipated exit of Onagoruwa, who had also had disagreement with the national legislators recently over her activities in the Bureau.
Since BPE was set up in 1999, only one of its DGs, Ms Irene Chigbue, was allowed to complete a four-year term.
All the others suffered a short lived tenure, including the first DG of the Bureau, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, who was later elevated to the position of minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime.
Whether full term or short-lived, all the Bureau’s bosses were enmeshed in controversies, associated with their handling of the privatisation process.
Although he was later appointed a minister, el Rufai’s tenure 1999 – 2003, was controversial arising from the sale of NITEL to Pentascope, which allegedly cost Nigeria about N100billion in revenues.
Also, recent legislative probes indicated that he may have also manipulated the sale of Conoil to business mogul, Chief Mike Adenuga.
Dr. Julius Bala, who took over from him as the second DG, 2003 – 2005, was sacked “for giving approval to Folio Communication Limited for the illegal sale of assets of Daily Times Nigeria Plc.”
Chigbue’s term between 2005 and-2009, did not go hitch free, as there were allegations that state-owned telecoms company NITEL, national aluminium company ALSCOM, and state-owned newspaper the Daily Times, were sold at low prices to politically connected insiders.
She was replaced by Dr Christopher Anyanwu in 2009, who, after only one year in office, was relieved of his appointment over the sale of NITEL for $2.5billion to New Generation Telecoms.
The new man, Dikki
Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, was until his appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan as the acting Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Director of Industries and Services at the BPE.
Born on December 30, 1958, Dikki is a 1980 accounting graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. He also holds an M.B.A from ABU.
He joined the BPE as a Director on December 1, 2004 and has served in many departments, starting as Director of Power and Communications. He has also served as Director (Finance and Management Support); Director (Transport and Aviation); and Director (Communications and Capital Market).
He was licensed as a stockbroker in June 1993.
Dikki has attended several courses and seminars in Nigeria and abroad. He is married with three biological children and adopted ones. He is from Zuru local government area of Kebbi State.