Emma Ujah, Abuja
Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE, Mr Alex Okoh, has said that efforts were on to resolve the lingering legal tussle over the Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State in order to revamp the firm.
The Director-General pointed out that if the Smelter Company was functioning, it would have provided about 8,500 direct jobs and 35,000 indirect jobs to Nigerians while Akwa-Ibom State would have been the greatest beneficiary.
He spoke at a meeting with the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, in Uyo, according to a statement by Amina Othman, the BPE spokesperson, yesterday.
According to Okoh, since the over 30 years of the Bureau’s existence, it had revamped over 230 previous Public Enterprises in the banking sector, oil and gas, telecoms, pension and debts’ management, among others.
On the power sector executed by the Bureau, he said if the privatisation had not been carried out in 2013, the sector would have collapsed by now, adding that the Federal Government was addressing the hiccups ravaging the sector.
In his remarks, Governor Emmanuel pledged to support the BPE in its reform and privatisation mandate and called on Nigerians to support the privatisation agency in exercising its mandate.
Emmanuel expressed satisfaction with the efforts being put in place by the Federal Government through the BPE to resolve the lingering legal tussle on the ALSCON at Ikot-Abasi which is moribund.
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He noted the stabilizing role of BPE in the nation’s economy, adding said that government was not usually a good manager of businesses but to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, hence the need to support the Bureau to carry out its assignment.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, added that the state would leverage on the expertise of BPE towards the industrialization policy of his administration and called for greater synergy between the Bureau and the state.