By Donald Ugwu
Abuja – The National Council on Privatisation (NCP), which is chaired by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has approved the commencement of the privatisation of Afam Power plants 1 to 5 in Rivers.
According to statement issued by the Vice Presidential Spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, on Monday the measure is to inject additional power into the national grid and improve electricity supply nationwide.
Akande said this and other decisions were taken during the meeting of the NCP, between Aug. 22 and Aug. 23, 2017 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
NCP is the highest decision making body on policies relating to the privatisation and commercialisation policies of the Federal Government.
According to Akande, the Council also approved the pursuit of an out-of-court settlement involving the privatisation of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).
The move, he said, aimed to resolve the lingering dispute between the Federal Government, BFIG and United Company RUSAL through the mediation of the Secretariat with the active collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
The council advised that “the mediation efforts should take a holistic view of the entire sector and the overriding national interests to jumpstart industrial development through the steel sector in arriving at a resolution on the matter.”
The council also reviewed the proposals presented by its Secretariat, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), for the reform and restructuring of various sectors of the economy.
Consequently, it approved the immediate revocation of the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex and the immediate commencement of a fresh privatisation of Yola Electricity Distribution Company.
The approvals, he said , were aimed at giving traction to key infrastructure facilities in the country presently under concessions but had been adjudged to be performing sub-optimally.
Other key decisions taken by the council included the approval of the amendments to the Work Plan for the conclusion of the transaction involving the concessioning of Terminal “B” Warri Old Port.
The Council also approved the restructuring and recapitalisation of Bank of Agriculture.
“The restructuring of the BOA is in alignment with the Government’s desire to make financing options readily available to farmers for an aggressive diversification of the Nigerian economy.”
He said the council also approved the immediate commencement of the reform and commercialisation of the River Basin Development Authorities to revitalise the irrigation and river basin potential for agricultural purposes.
Similarly, to harness the nation’s untapped tourism potential, the council approved the partial commercialisation of the National Parks using three key national parks as pilot projects.