Lagos — Group of shareholders have called on the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to give priority to quoted companies in the sale of 11 distribution companies (discos) created from the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Fifty four companies met the July 31, deadline set for companies to submit technical and financial proposals for the privatisation of the 11 companies.
Two firms already listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Oando Plc and National Aviation Handling Company Plc (Nahco Aviance) and Honeywell are among the companies that submitted bids to acquire some of the discos.
A cross section of shareholders said given the experience in the telecommunications industry during the licensing of GSM operators, the quoted companies should be given priority so that more Nigerians would benefit from the privatisation exercise.
Eleven years after they were given licences, none of the GSM operators have been listed on the Nigerian Exchange to share the billion naira profits they are making with Nigerian investors.
According to the National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, the BPE should not repeat that mistake of the past.
"Since we have some companies which are listed that are bidding for the discos, I want to respectfully urge the government to give these firms the opportunity to acquire them. If they do that all stakeholders would benefit. The shareholders would share from the profit, the government would earn more revenue in form of tax and other fees among others," Nwosu said.