The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), on Tuesday in Abuja opened financial bids for five subsidiaries of the Nigerian Mining Corporation (NMC) and technical consultants for power sector monitoring in the country.
The Director-General of the Bureau, Mr Alex Okoh said the event was a significant leap forward for the public enterprise reform programme of the Federal government after a few years in the doldrums.
“However, it is our fervent hope that this is only the restart of a transaction pipeline that is being reengineered and reinvigorated to deliver on the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“A mandate which is to deliver the kind of responsible privatisation and enterprise reform programme which the generality of Nigerians deserve and have yearned for.
“The path we are taking is borne of a vision of rediscovery and repositioning, which we have articulated and named the New Enterprise Transformation Strategy (NETS),’’ he said.
On power, Okoh said it was one of the most critical sectors of our economy and the Federal Government was desirous of seeing that the privatisation programme brought significant improvement to the sector.
He explained that the Bureau’s mandate required it to ensure the success of the privatisation through continuous monitoring of the enterprises for such periods as may be considered necessary.
“It requires us to ensure the privatisation was in line with the obligations covenanted in the agreements that the core investors and concessionaires signed with the government.
“And we have introduced a robust corporate governance framework for the Bureau’s representation of the government on the Boards of enterprises in which the government retained some equity holding or shares.
“The framework will address noticeable gaps of the past, and a strict code of ethics has been implemented that will guide the rules of engagement with the enterprises.
“In addition to these measures, the critical and complex nature of the power sector requires that BPE seeks the assistance of external consultants with the requisite experience and technical know-how.
“This is to help put in place robust mechanisms to monitor and manage some of the post-privatisation challenges facing the sector.
“The successful consultants will also help the Bureau in monitoring the activities of power generation and distribution companies as well as provide feedback to the government on the core investors’ adherence to the Performance Agreements signed with the government.
“This is with the ultimate objective of ensuring that the power sector reforms deliver adequate, reliable, efficient and affordable power to Nigerians,’’ he said.
Okoh expressed optimism that at least four to six firms would emerge after the equalisation of the technical and financial results.
He added that results would be recommended to the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for approval and the Bureau would then commence negotiation of the contract terms with the firms that subsequently emerge from the process.
According to Okoh, five subsidiaries of the NMC will be opened for bids which include Naraguta bricks and clay company ltd, Jos and Maiduguri Bricks and Clay Products Ltd, Maiduguri.
Others are Terrazzo Company Limited (NTL), Gurum, Jos, Kujama Quarry, Kaduna and Gano Quarry, Kano State.
Okoh expressed the Bureau’s gratitude for the support and guidance it had been receiving from the NCP, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, investors and consultants in the bidding process and staff of the bureau.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, NCP, Alhaji M.K Ahmed, said there were eight companies bidding for the five subsidiaries of NMC.
The Chairman was represented by Mrs Imeh Okon, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on infrastructure.
“We are also opening financial proposals of the nine firms that have been pre-qualified to engage technical consultancy service for the monitoring of the privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Successor Companies (SCs).’’
He wished the bidders the best of luck while expressing optimism for the repositioning and transformation of the various enterprises in line with the Federal Government objectives in the reform and privatisation of public enterprises.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the various participants bided for the listed enterprises after which the Chairman, NCP said the winner of the bid process would be sent to NCP for approval.