December 18, 2014

FG to privatise railways, inland waterways, 6 others in 2015

FG to privatise railways, inland waterways, 6 others in 2015

Abuja light rail

By Franklin Alli & Providence Obuh

The Federal Government has concluded plans to privatise eight new entities in some sectors of the economy by 2015.

Abuja light rail

Abuja light rail

These sectors include: Railway; Inland waterways; Road Authority; Roads Funds; National Transport Commission; Ports & Harbour reform; Federal Competition and Consumer Protection and Postal bill.

Mr. Benjamin Dikki, the Director General of the bureau, disclosed this during the end year workshop of the Commerce and Industry Correspondence Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in Lagos, saying “Government is riding on the success story of the previously privatised Public Enterprises, PEs, such as banking, power, telecom, marine, steel sectors of the economy, etc.

According to him “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

‘The reform of the telecom sector remains the most successful in terms of its impact on the economy. For example, Nigeria’s tele-density has been raised from 450,000 telephone lines in 2001 to over 134.5 million as at September, 2014; today, telecom contributions to the GDP is now 8.53 per cent , compared to less than 3 percent in 2001.”

Still stressing 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.

Additionally, Dikki said that 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.

In her presentation, Dr. Gloria Elemo Director General, Federal Institute of Research Oshodi (FIIRO, said that research and development are a very potent benefit of research to economic development is the transformation substitution industrialization to export oriented industrialisation.

According to Elemo, it is on record that whereas Research and Development, R&D investments in most European Union, EU and some Asian countries lies between 1.5 percent and three percent of the GDP, most developing countries invest much less than one percent of GDP in R&D accounting for a meager 0.11 percent of GDP. The R&D investments in Nigeria only accounts for 0.01 percent of global expenditure on R&D. Consequently, Nigeria ranked 94 out of 134 nations in the global competitiveness index in 2010 and has no university ranked in the world’s top 500.