The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and its predecessor, Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC), have reformed over 140 public enterprises in 30 years.
The Director-General of BPE, Mr Alex Okoh, disclosed this at the inauguration of the Stakeholder Engagement Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The committee was inaugurated by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohanmed, who is the Chairman.
The committee has the mandate of achieving credible public enterprise transformation strategy of the Federal Government.
Membership of the committee is drawn from the labour unions, private and public sectors, human rights organisations and NGOs.
Okoh said that the reformed enterprises cut across various sectors of the economy including, banking and insurance, oil and gas, power, hospitality, pensions and telecommunications.
He said the reformed enterprises went through the process of full or partial privatisation, full or partial commercialisation and concessioning.
Okoh faulted public opinion that the privatised enterprises were for far less than their actual market value and that they were not doing well.
“More than 60 per cent of these privatised enterprises have achieved a good level of performance.
“The power generation companies are performing very well. I can also tell you that the seaports are performing despite some infrastructural constraints.
It can thus be seen that there is something of a mismatch between public perception of privatisation and the realities of its contributions to the economy.”
The director-general noted that an effective stakeholder engagement strategy would go a long way in correcting the wrong public perception on privatisation.
He also underscored the need to build support and understanding for the Federal Government’s reform agenda by effectively communicating considerable benefits of privatisation.
Okoh said there was an urgent need to manage the concerns and allay the fears of key stakeholders while ensuring that their interests were considered.
He expressed raised concern over a recent development where certain institutions were engaging in activities which tended to compromise and conflict with the statutory functions of NCP and BPE.
The minister, after inaugurating the committee, underscored the need for its members to live up to their responsibilities.
He said the committee should maintain contacts with stakeholders and opinion leaders and in turn advise the NCP on their interests and concerns.
Mohammed reiterated the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration’s commitment to promoting the participation of the private sector in the strategic economic agenda of the nation.
He said the government would provide the enabling environment such as the provision of critical infrastructure for the private sector to thrive.