By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has approved the commencement of the privatisation of Afam power plants 1-5 with the aim of injecting additional power into the national grid.
The approval, according to a statement by Osinbajoâ€™s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, last night, was intended to improve electricity nationwide.
The statement added that the council also approved the pursuit of an out-of-court settlement involving the privatisation of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).
Akande said the move aimed at resolving the lingering dispute between the federal government, BFIG and United Company RUSAL through the mediation of the secretariat with the active collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
He said the council advised that â€œthe mediation efforts should take a holistic view of the entire sector and the overriding national interests to jumpstart industrial development through the steel sector in arriving at a resolution on the matter.â€
He said the council, in a meeting held on August 22 and 23, reviewed the proposals presented by its Secretariat, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for the reform and restructuring of various sectors of the economy.
He also said the council approved the immediate revocation of the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, and the immediate commencement of a fresh privatisation of Yola Electricity Distribution Company.
These approvals, according to the statement, were aimed at giving traction to key infrastructure facilities in the country that are currently under concession, but have been adjudged to be performing sub-optimally.
He listed other key decisions taken by the council to include the approval of amendments to work plan for the conclusion of the transaction involving the concessioning of Terminal â€œBâ€ Warri Old Port; the restructuring and recapitalisation of Bank of Agriculture.
â€œThe restructuring of the BOA is in alignment with the governmentâ€™s desire to make financing options readily available to farmers for an aggressive diversification of the Nigerian economy,â€ Akande quoted the council as saying.
â€œIt further stated that it approved the immediate commencement of the reform and commercialisation of the River Basins Development Authorities to revitalise the irrigation and river basin potential for agricultural purposes.
â€œSimilarly, to harness the nationâ€™s untapped tourism potential, the council approved the partial commercialisation of the National Parks using three key national parks as pilot projects,â€ the statement added.