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Jonathan:Privatisation Has Failed

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday admitted that the nation’s privatisation programme, which began in 1999 has failed and called for sanctions against unserious investors.

He also lamented  failures of the private sector to turn around ailing government firms sold to them.

The president said contrary to expectations that government firms will be better managed by the private sector, the reverse has been the case.

He, therefore, advocated sanctions should be built into future privatisation agreement to ensure that only serious investors are involved in the programme.

Jonathan spoke at the inauguration of the  National Council on Privatisation (NCP) held at the vice president’s wing of the presidential Villa, Abuja.

The inauguration of a new council was in consonance with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) Act 1999.

Vice President Namadi Sambo is the Chairman of the council, which also has as members Finance Minister as  vice chair, Attorney General of the Federation, Minister of Trade and Investment, Minister of National Planning and Secretary to Government of the Federation. Others are governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,  Special Adviser  to the President on Economic Matters, NLC President, Chairman, National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and BPE DG/Secretary.

The president charged the new council to tackle lapses that had hindered the survival of privatised companies in the past.

He also urged the council to ensure that appropriate monitoring mechanism is built into all  future privatisation agreements.

“We believe the private sector will handle things better that than the public sector. But the whole story about privatisation has not been as successful as Nigerians expected it to be.

“The feeling is that a number of enterprises that have been privatised by the Federal Government are not doing too well. So, these are the kinds of areas the new council members should address their minds to, the ones that had been done and the new ones that are yet to be done.

“In any agreement or arrangement you will have with the private sector that will take over assets of government, we must make sure that we build monitoring into it and there has to be some sanctions,” he said.

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