Jonathan To Probe government companies that were acquired and mismanaged by private investors

Friday August 5, 2011 – President Jonathan inaugurates a council to unearth government companies that were acquired and mismanaged by private investors

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday, inaugurated the new National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in Abuja with a challenge to its members to monitor operations of privatised government companies to ensure their efficient and effective performance.

Inaugurating the Council at the Vice President’s Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Jonathan frowned at the way the privatised companies were being mismanaged. “We believe that the private sector will handle things better than the public sector, but the whole story of privatisation has not been as successful as Nigerians expect it to be,” he said.

“The feeling is that a number of enterprises that have been privatised by the government are not doing too well. So, that is the area that this new council will address our minds to.’’

President Jonathan noted that government privatised the companies in the hope that they would be managed efficiently and effectively to create jobs and wealth for the people.

He expressed regret, however, that “these enterprises have been privatised and over the period, some of them over 10 years, and they are still dead.’’

He said that though government spent huge amount of resources on setting up the enterprises, the idea was not just meant to make money for the government, but to create jobs and wealth for the people.

“So, if we are privatising these enterprises, we would expect that the core interest of government of creating wealth and jobs must endure and if we are not getting it, then, we need to think again,’’ he said. 

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Council, Vice-President Namadi Sambo, thanked the president for inaugurating the Council, and promised that the members would carry out their responsibilities diligently.

“We have carefully listened to you and I want to assure you that this new Council will do exactly as you have directed,” he said. “We will think more and do more to ensure that all companies that have been privatised work and create jobs for Nigerians.

Sambo announced that sub-committees had been put in place to ensure that there was adequate monitoring of the privatised government enterprises.

Other members of the Council are the Minister of Finance, who will serve as vice-chairman, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of National Planning and the Ministers of Information and Communications.

Others are Ministers of Environment, Mines and Steel Development, the CBN Governor, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, President of the NLC,  and the Director- General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) serves as Secretary of the Council.