Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki has urged the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) to take advantage of the Bureau’s 2014 work plan to sensitize Northern governors, leaders and the business class in the region to participate actively in the Federal Government’s privatization programme.
He said the 2014 work plan details all the transactions the Bureau intends to execute this year “and I urge your organization to acquaint yourselves with it (workplan) to sensitize prominent northerners to participate in the privatization programme”.
Dikki who spoke when the Forum paid him a courtesy visit and conferred on him an award of Excellence, bemoaned the apathy exhibited by northerners in the previous privatization exercises. He however expressed happiness that the trend changed in the recently concluded power transaction in which the north actively participated.
The DG expressed concern over the lack of industries in the north and appealed to bodies like AYF to embark on sustained sensitization of northern leaders, governors and wealthy individuals to establish industries in the zone.
The BPE boss informed the visitors that power supply in the country would have greatly stabilized after the privatization of the former government monopoly but for vandals who blow up gas pipelines to sabotage government’s efforts.
On the award, the DG said it would spur him to greater action “as there are unseen people watching and gauging me”.
“This is heart-warming and I dedicate the award to the Management team and staff of the Bureau without whom this would not have been possible. They do the work and I take the credit”, he stressed.
He commended President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo for their support and commitment to the privatization programme which have ensured the achievements recorded so far.
Earlier, National President of AYF, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, had called on the Federal Government to ensure that only genuine investors were handed over privatized enterprises to bring about positive economic benefits of providing employment to the jobless youth in Nigeria and the North in particular.
He said that the Forum had earlier presented a position paper to the Federal Government in which it highlighted developmental issues affecting Northern Nigeria and suggested the setting up of a Northern Youth Empowerment Programme (NYEP) to address insecurity and youth engagement in political thuggery in the region.
He said that Dikki was given the award based on certain parameters among them: “An articulate technocrat, a right peg in a round hole, a true patriot and a man with razor sharp intellect and the ability to think out of the box.”