BPE Defends Action on BOI, Others

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Benjamin Dikki, DG, BPE

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The Bureau of Public Enterprises dismisses allegations that privatisation of Bank of Industry and other development finance institutions in the country are being rushed, stating the process has been on since 2014

By Maureen Chigbo  |  May 11, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT  |

THE Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has dismissed the allegations that the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, was rushing the privatisation of some development financial institutions in the country.  According to BPE, the approvals given by NCP was for the opening of financial bids for the procurement of transaction advisers that will conduct the diagnostic review of the development finance institutions, DFIs, and recommend the privatisation transaction structure.  The opening of the financial bids is not for the core investor sale of those institutions as has been misconstrued, it said.

“The engagement of transaction advisers is just the initial stage of a process that is expected to last for over a year. The transaction adviser will collate technical and financial information that will be incorporated in the information memorandum that will be made available to potential investors to guide their decision,” BPE said in a statement signed by Chigbo Anichebe, its spokesman.

It said that those familiar with the Bureau’s transaction processes were aware that before the commencement of any transaction, it engages transaction advisers to advise it on the transaction strategy and for NCP approval. Adverts will then be placed to invite prospective investors to express interest.

Prior to the approval for the opening of financial bids submitted by prequalified transaction advisers, the Bureau commenced the process in 2014 by advertising for expressions of interest from prospective advisers on June 23, 2014. The NCP considered the recommendations made by its Technical Committee on the evaluation of the expressions of interest and approved the report of the evaluation of expressions of interest (EOIs) for the engagement of transaction advisers.

The NCP then directed that the Requests for Proposal, RFP, be sent to the six consortia of transaction advisers that were shortlisted at the EOI stage on December 19, 2014. After submission of Request for Proposals and their evaluation, NCP approved that those that met the criteria should proceed to the financial bid stage.

“This clarification becomes necessary to underscore the fact that the actual process for the partial privatisation of the development finance institutions has not commenced. It will commence when adverts are placed to invite bidders to express interest.

It would be recalled  that the National Council on Privatisation which is the statutory body charged with driving the reform and privatisation programme of the federal government during its meeting of April 2015 held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday, April 16, 2015, approved the financial bid opening for pre-qualified advisers for  the partial privatisation of three Development Financial Institutions, DFIs, in the country — Bank of Agriculture, BOA, Bank of Industry, BOI, and Nigeria Commodity Exchange, NCX, formerly Abuja Securities & Commodity Exchange Commission, ASCE.

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