top story Nigeria to privatise railways, waterways, roads

The Nigerian government has concluded plans to privatise eight new state-run companies and sectors in 2015, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr. Benjamin Dikki, has said.Dikki told a workshop for Commerce and Industry Correspondence Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that the sectors included the Railway; Inland waterways; Road Authority; Roads Funds; National Transport Commission; Ports & Harbours; Federal Competition and Consumer Protection and Postal services. "Government is riding on the success story of the previously privatised Public Enterprises, such as banking, power, telecom, marine, steel sectors of the economy, etc. "Today, the banking and finance sector is the most developed sector in Nigeria, efficiently and effectively responsible for implementing all government’s economic and financial policies under the regulation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)," he said. He noted that the reform of the telecom sector remains the most successful in terms of its impact on the economy and that Nigeria’s tele-density has been raised from 450,000 telephone lines in 2001 to over 134.5 million as at September, 2014. According to him, telecom’s contribution to the GDP is now 8.53 percent, compared to less than 3 percent in 2001. Speaking on the benefits of the reforms and privatisation, he said: "Eleme Petrochemical Company has been revitalised and producing at over 99 percent capacity and has been consistently paying over N4, 000.00 as dividend per share. Cement companies have been revived, expanded and made profitable, etc." Dikki, stated that to sustain the gains of past reforms and privatisation and enhance the enabling environment for private capital participation in the Nigerian economy, BPE has prepared eight critical bills targeted for passage into law. The bills are roads authority bill, railway bill, port and habour bill, inland water ways bills; Roads fund bill; National transport commission bill, federal competition and consumer protection bill as well as postal bill. "Besides these bills, the bureau is working with the relevant ministries to reform Sports, Tourism, Health and Housing sectors of the country by reviewing the policy, legal and regulatory frameworks for these sectors," he added.


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