Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The National Council of Privatisation (NCP) has approved that the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) be allowed to strategically invest in the equity of the Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) to help revitalise its operations within a period of five years.
To this end, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, yesterday gave Lead Capital Consortium a deadline of 60 days to conclude the strategic equity investment by NSIA into the NCX.
According to a statement from the head of public communications of BPE, Mr. Chukwuma Nwokoh, in Abuja, the deadline to Lead Capital which was appointed adviser to the exercise following a competitive bidding process that employed the Quality and Cost Based Selection Method (QCBS), was given at a meeting with stakeholders.
The meeting according to Nwokoh, was to formally introduce the appointed advisor, Lead Capital Consortium, to the key stakeholders that included the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ministry of Finance; NCX and NSIA, and to signal the commencement of the advisory service.
The statement however, quoted Okoh to have said: â€œThis assignment as outlined in the work plan, commences today (yesterday) June 21, 2017 and to be concluded within a period of 60 calendars days, unfailingly. We therefore solicit for the continued support and cooperation of the stakeholders to ensure that this transaction is delivered within the timeframe envisaged.â€
He equally pointed out that the transaction was unique in the sense that unlike in the traditional privatisation transaction approach where a private sector entity was brought in to acquire government shareholding and take over the management and operation of the public enterprise, a government entity was making strategic investment in NCX.
â€œThis is to enable NCX have access to investment capital to develop the infrastructure to carry out its business effectively in facilitating trade and developing settlement instruments and platforms in agricultural produce and basic minerals,â€ Okoh added.
The statement also noted that the Steering Committee of the NCP, chaired by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, was charged with the responsibility of midwifing the revitalisation of the NCX through the approved strategic equity investment in the exchange by the NSIA.
â€œIt is envisaged that within a period of three to five years, NCX would have been sufficiently transformed to attract high caliber private sector investors to take over. As such it is very important that an effective monitoring mechanism is put in place to ensure that the investments are prudently used and the business plan faithfully implemented,â€ Okoh said in the statement.