By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, presented Certificate of Discharge to Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp).
A certificate of discharge is a written statement of satisfaction that a party has discharged its obligations credibly.
The Group Chairman of Transcorp, Tony Elumelu was accompanied by the group Chief Executive Officer, Val Ozigbo, and Chief Executive of Transcorp Hotel Plc, Owen Omogiafo to receive the certificate.
Speaking with State House correspondents afterwards, Elumelu said the event was at the instance of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).
“We were invited and presented with certificate of discharge, meaning when you privatise government assets, when you sell government assets or companies, you have certain obligations.
“What you must do to improve the assets, to create jobs, to enhance the tax you have to pay to government, enhance the value of the property itself.
“You know that in 2005, we acquired Transcorp Hotel and we had certain obligations as core investors to meet.
“I am happy to say we have met those obligations, strengthening corporate governance practices, how the company is run, improving revenue for the company, increasing our tax payment to government, creating employment for Nigerians.
“ Most importantly, helping Nigeria to experience 7-Star Hotel in this country, some of you who have been to Transcorp Hotel in recent times will see that we have spent a lot of money, hundreds of millions of dollars to refurbish the hotel.
“So that when presidents come to Nigeria, like during the independence anniversary and the May 29 event, you will be proud to see that all these presidents stay at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, world class 7-star experience and quality.
“So, we are happy that the Nigerian government, through the NCP, recognises what we have done and invited us to discharge us of the obligations.’’
He said that the discharge meant a validation of what Transcorp stood for and that it had creditably acquitted itself.
Elumelu said the group was used to turning around businesses, creating value and improving lives.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for being an appreciative government that recognised what the firm was doing in the private sector.
“The development of our country must be led by the private and public sector working together.
“ So, the private and public sectors must work together to move this country forward.
“ We are grateful to the Federal Government, we are grateful to the NCP for this, that’s why we are here to see the vice president.’’
On the business environment in Nigeria, Elumelu said that the ease of doing business was improving in the country.
He said that the presidential team that was driving the ease of doing business was doing a great job as Nigeria had moved to a higher ranking.
The chairman said, however, that more needed to be done for Nigeria to become more competitive.