Wednesday

We’ll ensure diligent privatisation process, says Osinbajo

The Presidency on Tuesday said it would ensure that the process of privatisation of public enterprises was undertaken diligently.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this while granting audience to members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation led by Mr. Ahmed Yerima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, Osinbajo also said efforts were being made to fast-track the procurement process to give the 2016 budget implementation a boost.

Members of the committee were said to have requested among other things that the executive arm of government should inaugurate the National Council on Privatisation so as to speed up privatisation issues because the government was not meant to be engaged in business.

“We should all take the privatisation process seriously,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying.

He also noted that the Presidency would work with the National Assembly to fast-track pending relevant bills, including the Competition Bill, to further clarify government’s economic direction for investors and other business interests.

The vice president said while the government agreed that the privatisation process ought to be taken seriously by all concerned and that government ought not be involved in running businesses, he stressed that investors and business owners who took over public enterprises should run them based on agreed terms.

According to him, once a sale is completed, the business should keep to the terms even if there is a downturn.

He cautioned that the government should always approach the issue of additional concessions after the sale cautiously and not allow itself to come under undue pressure, adding, “We should all take the privatisation process seriously.”

On the inauguration of the NCP, Osinbajo said the matter was being duly considered by the Presidency.
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