. FG to divest 20% equity in petro-chemical sector
BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says political and mundane considerations will no longer have any place in Federal Government’s delivery of its reform and privatisation programme.
This is even as the Bureau hinted that government will partner with core investors to divest about 20 per cent shares in privatised petro-chemical sector firms through capital market’s public listing.
Director General of the Bureau, Mr. Alex A. Okoh said henceforth only the right core investors with the financial, technical and managerial competences will be selected to ensure that they move privatised entities to the desired level and make them attractive for public listings.
Speaking at the 2017 annual national workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Abuja, Okoh said public listings remain a strategic objective of the reform and privatisation programme if the country is to derive all the economic benefits therein.
In his presentation on: ‘Creating An Enabling Environment For Public Listings Of The Economy’s Commanding Heights: The Case For Telecommunications & Energy Sectors’, the Director General also said BPE would develop policies to attract additional private sector capital into the privatized companies, adding that this is expected to “eventually give confidence to the business and encourage listing”.
Okoh further explained that the Bureau would ensure technical partners are retained in the privatized firms on long term basis while continuous engagement would be maintained with the relevant authorities for necessary waivers to make public listings for the privatized entities easily realizable.
A statement by BPE’s Head, Public Communications, Chukwuma Nwokoh said the Director General also believes it is important to establish an institutional framework to reach targets in both public and private sectors while identifying quick wins; medium term goals; and long term achievements in the process.
According to him, the Bureau is currently undertaking a quick assessment of privatized enterprises, especially in the petro-chemical sector as part of government’s moves to divest its shares through the capital market.
The Director General said the BPE is “working with core investors in certain privatised enterprises sold by deferred public offering to ensure that they sell at least 20% of such entities to the market via public listing.”
Also making an intervention at the occasion, immediate past Director-General of BPE, Mr Benjamin Dikki, urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to set up a committee to induce the telecommunications companies in the country to become active players in the capital market.