The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin E. Dikki, has stated that electricity generation will improve in the next few months as the new owners of the privatized successor companies will introduce maintenance culture that will entail the importation of spare parts to replace and refurbish the moribund components.
He stated this while presenting a paper titled “The Federal Government Privatisation Programme: The Journey So Far” to the Course 22 of the National Defence Academy in Abuja on Monday.
He disclosed that the major work of the Bureau was the reforms of the various sectors of the economy to create an enabling environment for private sector investments by the instituting sound sectors policies; liberalization of the sectors by abrogating monopoly laws; delineation of the roles of policy formulation from regulation and operations; establishment of appropriate legal and regulatory framework; mitigation of risks to encourage private sector investments and the setting up of independent regulatory agencies.
The Head of the privatization agency noted that the BPE championed the Telecommunications Sector Reforms that revolutionalised the country’s telecom sector with the enactment of the Telecom Act of 2003, which according to him, led to the licensing of several service providers that have created many new jobs and an astronomical growth from a tele-density of 0.4%, representing 450,000 telephone lines in 2001 to 82%, representing
123 million telephone lines as at June 2013.
He further noted that the BPE midwifed the enactment of the Pension Reform Act of 2004 that led to the establishment of National Pension Commission that entrenched a stable pension policy in Nigeria with the retirees now certain to get paid on retirement which has so far created over N3 trillion long term investable funds for infrastructure development – if the
restrictions of the law are relaxed.
Dikki explained that the establishment of the Debt Management Office (DMO) is one of the outcomes of the reform works of the Bureau to curb arbitrary borrowing by public enterprises and government agencies.
He enumerated the primary benefits of the Ports Reforms by the BPE on the economy that include among others faster ship turn-around times; faster cargo turn-around times; faster truck turn-around times; use of larger ships; increased port utilization efficiency; lower port operating costs and opportunities for inland distribution by rail; while the secondary
benefits according to him are increased competition; lower port charges; lower freight rates; increased private sector investments; labour force improvements and net financial transfers to the government.
To sustain the gains of past reforms, the Bureau’s DG listed seven critical Bills targeted for passage into Law which have been approved by the National Council on Privatisation for presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC). They are: Railway Bill; Inland Waterways Bill; Road Sector Reform Bill; National Transport Commission Bill; Ports & Harbour Reform Bill; Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill and Postal Bill.