Privatization must be handled with caution – Reps

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By Tony Edike ENUGU

THE House of Representatives Committee on Power Sector, Wednesday, warned against privatization of public enterprises in Nigeria, especially the Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc, emphasizing that privatization process must be handled with the greatest caution in order  “not to build on quicksand.”

Chairman of the Committee, Reps Patrick Ikhariale stated this when members of his committee visited the Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc, South-East zonal Headquarters, Enugu to inspect projects executed by the company to determine if the budget of the company was well implemented.

The inspection was part of the oversight functions of the legislature as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, according to the lawmaker.

Ikhariale stressed that, if for whatever reason, the privatization process was done in a questionable manner, it could mean that the country would be building on quicksand.  “Today , privatization is the issue. You will recall I was here some time last year to talk on this issue of privatization, and I did mention to you that yes, given the  greater analysis, that privatization is a way out but there’s a caveat; privatization must be done with due diligence.

It must be executed with sufficient expertise. I It must be handled with all the accuracies, otherwise, we will work on a quick sand,” he warned.He said although privatization seemed to be the way out, but it would amount to a crime against humanity if people showed interest to buy off public companies when they lacked the vital funds or technical know-how to run such enterprises.

“We are talking of privatisation because we are expecting a better service delivery. So it will amount to crime against humanity if people show interest or buy when they don’t have the financial capability or technical know-how to manage the business,” he said.

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