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BPE to sell refineries after PIB passage, "Nigeria's Privatizations the Biggest in the worl

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IMAGE: Acting DG of BPE Benjamin Dikki »



The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has alerted interested investors in the oil and gas sector that when the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed, the nation’s refineries would be available for privatisation.

The agency, which is charged with the privatisation of government-owned enterprises, added that the network of oil and gas pipelines would also be available for concessioning.

Benjamin Dikki, director general, BPE, stated this in a keynote presentation to The Nigeria Investors’ Summit held in New York, United States of America, according to a statement signed by Chigbo Anichebe, head of public communications, BPE.

Dikki said that the over $3 billion proceeds expected from the privatisation of the 18 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies makes it the biggest ever privatisation transaction in global history.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and the continent’s second-biggest economy, but still relies heavily on imported refined petroleum products for the servicing of the economy, creating a lucrative market for European refiners and oil traders at the expense of the Nigerian masses.

The country has four refineries – Port Harcourt Refining Company I and II, Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited, and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company – with a combined capacity of around 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) or 70.75 million litres per day, but they operate well below full capacity owing to decades of mismanagement and corruption.

Aliko Dangote, business mogul and Africa’s richest man, had in April disclosed his intention to build a 400,000-bpd-capacity refinery, which would be Nigeria’s first private and Africa’s largest petroleum refinery.

Dikki noted that the government has been consistent in its policy to open up its economy and create the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, adding 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. These efforts include 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; setup 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 so far implemented by the Federal Government had worked, urging prospective investors to take an informed decision that the upcoming reform initiatives would work.

He said the world was waking up to the most attractive investment haven in the world, which is Nigeria, urging the investors that had missed the last tranche of investment opportunities not to miss the next ones.

The first in the long list of upcoming opportunities, he said, are in the telecommunications and the transport sectors, stating that NITEL and its frequencies are still available for sale in a guided liquidation process that will commence soon.

In the transport sector, he said the Railway Bill, National Inland Waterways Bill, Ports and Harbour Bill, and National Transport Commission Bill were ready and would soon 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 housing deficit over 18 million units in the country, the Federal Government had made the reforms in that sector a priority. He also said that in collaboration with key stakeholders, the Bureau was reviewing the policies, legal and regulatory framework to attract private sector investments in the sector.

The BPE boss told the prospective investors that next in the menu of opportunities was the Abuja Commodities and Stock Exchange. “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,” he said.

He said the planned reform in the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) would commence with the privatisation of Bank of Industry (BoI) and Bank of Agriculture (BoA).

Article Credit: Business Day Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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