The Director-General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Benjamin Dikki, has said that the over $3 billion proceed expected from the privatisation of the 18 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies makes it the biggest privatisation transaction ever in global history.
Dikki, who revealed this in a keynote presentation to the Nigeria Investors' Summit held in New York, United States of America (USA), said that the Nigerian government had been consistent in its policy to open up its economy and create the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
The DG added that the present administration, in particular, has gone the extra mile in its efforts to create a conducive environment to attract private sector investments in infrastructure through the institution of sound policies; liberalisation by abrogation of monopoly laws; separation of roles of policy formulation, regulation and operation; instituting appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks; setting up of independent regulatory agencies and limiting government to policy formulation, planning and technical regulation; and appropriate fiscal and tariff incentives.
He noted that the reform initiatives that were so far implemented by the Nigerian government had worked and urged prospective investors to make an informed decision that the upcoming reform initiatives would work
He enthused that the world was waking up to the most attractive investment haven in the world -Nigeria- urging the investors that had missed the last tranche of investment opportunities not to miss the next ones.
He said the first in the long list of upcoming opportunities are in the telecommunications and the transport sectors, stating that the NITEL and its frequencies are still available for sale in a guided liquidation process that would commence soon.
In the transport sector, he said that the Railway Bill, National Inland Waterways Bill, Ports and Harbour Bill, and National Transport Commission Bill were ready and soon to be sent to the federal legislature for passage.
He revealed that the reforms in the housing sector had equally reached advanced stages; adding that with over 18 million housing deficit in the country, the federal government had made the reforms in that sector a priority.
The privatisation helmsman said the bureau, in collaboration with key stakeholders, is currently reviewing the policies, legal and regulatory framework to attract private sector investments in the sector.
He told the prospective investors that next in the menu of opportunities is the Abuja Commodities and Stock Exchange. He said, "We will harness the warehouses and silos all over the country and link them up to the trading platform for Warehouse Receipt Trading system."
Once we make prices and buyers predictable, we have a mega boom in the making."
Dikki said the planned reform in the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) will commence with the privatization of Bank of Industry (BOI) and Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
He noted that on the reforms in the tourism sector, the BPE has begun the review of the policy, legal and regulatory frameworks for the sector to attract private capital into this tourism gold mine
He alerted the investors interested in the Oil and Gas sector that when the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed, the Refineries will be available for privatization; adding that the network of oil and gas pipelines will also be available for concession.