The Federal Government on Monday directed the newly-inaugurated Management Board of Nitel/Mtel to consumate the privatisation process of the two establishments within 60 days. Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan gave the directive while inaugurating the board at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
â€œThe President has given us unwritten directive that we must conclude the privatisation of Nitel/Mtel in 60 days. â€œWe must do that even if it means not sleeping. It must be concluded.â€œThe Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) must do all what it takes in conjunction with the National Council on Privatisation to see that we conclude the privatisation.
â€œIt must be done in a clear way that Nigerians should see that the privatisation process is done properly as we can no longer afford to make any mistake,â€ Jonathan said.
The vicep-president noted that Nitel/Mtel networks were critical infrasructure not only for the government but for Nigerians as well and blamed the past management of organisations for the inefficiency and the decay of the infrastructure.Â Jonathan also said that privatising a government establishment was not just because of the money to realise from it.â€œNo doubt money is paid and shared to the whole country for government use but the idea is that the infrastructure provide the services for which it was set up and provide employment.â€œNo matter how much money you get from a sale of government property, if the services are not rendered at the end of the day, it does not yield any dividends,â€ he said.
Jonathan charged the board members not to go into new investment but concentrate on the privatisation process. The members are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Mrs Ammuna Lawan-Ali (chairman), and her finance ministry counterpart, Mr Ochi Achiniya. Others are the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Ahmed Rufai, the Acting Managing Director of Nitel, Zainab Saâ€™ab, and the Director-General of BPE, Dr Christopher Anyanwu. Mr Ibrahim Kashim of BPE and the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Economic Matters, Mr Sam Worlu, are also members Lawan-Ali, who spoke on behalf of others, thanked the vice-president for the confidence reposed in them and gave an assurance that they wouldwork as a team to deliver the mandate. The Federal Government on June 1 directed the revocation of Nitel/Mtel to Transcorp on the grounds that it breached the terms and conditions of the Shares Sales Purchase Agreement.