By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has reiterated the policy of the present administration to actively promote the participation of the private sector in the nation’s strategic economic agenda.
The Minister stated this when he inaugurated the Stakeholders Engagement Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to reiterate that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari recognizes and actively promotes the participation of the private sector in the strategic economic agenda of the nation.
“This pro-business posture of the government is eminently reflected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of this government,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the government will continue to create an enabling environment for private businesses to thrive and build economic prosperity for the generality of Nigerians, including the provision of critical infrastructure through Public Private Partnership.
Expressing delight at the caliber of members of the committee, he enjoined them to do everything possible to ensure that the committee lives up to its responsibilities by ensuring that it identifies and maintains contacts with various stakeholders and opinion leaders; and advises the Council accordingly.
In his remarks, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex Okoh, said in the last 30 years, over 140 public enterprises across various sectors of the economy have been fully or partially privatized or fully or partially commercialized or concession.
“Of these privatized enterprises, over 60% have achieved a good level of performance. The generation companies are performing very well. I can also tell you that the seaports are performing despite some infrastructural constraints,” he said.
Mr. Okoh said the importance of an effective stakeholders’ engagement strategy cannot be over-emphasized, in view of the need to build support and understanding for the Federal Government’s reform agenda by effectively communicating the benefits of the privatization programme.
The committee, chaired by the Minister of Information and Culture, has the Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari; Iyalode Alaba Lawson, the President of NACCIMA; Mr. Ben Upah of NLC, Auwal Musa from the Civil Society; Mr. Maxwell Loko of the Nigerian Television Authority; Olaniyi Omodara of the National Human Rights Commission and Mr. Uchola of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as some of the members.