NITEL/MTEL on Guided Privatisation


THE federal government has adopted a guided liquidation process for transactions involving two of its companies, namely NITEL and MTEL, because the liabilities in both companies far outweigh their current value. This information was made public by Benjamin Dikki, director general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE.

Dikki, who was speaking on a radio programme in Abuja recently, noted that the sale process was the best option for NITEL/MTEL as any other mode of sale would have incurred huge liabilities for the government. He added that the Bureau also plans to engage advisers who are expected to visit all NITEL/MTEL installations in the country to assess the state of the company and subsequently obtain the actual value.

Dikki, who also spoke on a variety of privatisation issues, lamented the absence of a regulator at Nigerian ports since the policy of concession was introduced in 2006. He opined that the absence has impeded the smooth operation of the concessionaires. “During the concession of the ports in 2006, it was envisaged that a regulator will be put in place to regulate operations at the ports but seven years down the line, this has not been achieved.”

Dikki, however, commended the present administration for its efforts in correcting existing abnormalities and hinted that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, would soon receive a bill for its consideration and approval. He added that when the Ports and Harbour Reform Bill is approved by the FEC, it would be forwarded to the National Assembly for enactment.

The privatization spokesman also assured that transactions in the power sector were going on smoothly and dispelled rumours that the government was secretly handing over some of the successor companies to the bidders. He also noted that privatization of the sector was the only way to improve it and cut cost.  “At present, there are 43,000 workers in PHCN which generates about 6,000 megawatts of electricity for the country. This is not economically viable because in a public set up, there is no entrepreneurial spirit.” Regards the payment of severance benefits to PHCN staff, Dikki said the process would begin the next few weeks.

Dikki also told listeners of the program that the privatisation process of the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange, ASCE, had commenced, stressing that its privatisation would unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potentials and also provide predictable prices for agricultural produce. He also revealed that the federal government had inaugurated a steering committee for the commercialisation of the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, “which will remove impediments hampering mass housing in the country.”

Citing examples of NITEL/MTEL and PHCN, Dikki assured that casual workers in privatised companies will have their employment regularised before privatisation.

 Reacting to a question from a caller from Enugu on the fate of workers of the Nigerian Coal Corporation, NCC, Enugu, whose official quarters had not been monetised, the BPE boss said that the initial arrangement was to monetise the houses  but since the workers had been paid all their terminal benefits, they would not be entitled to the policy. However, he said that when the houses are offered for sale, the workers would be given the right of first refusal and they would be responsible for making payment arrangements.

A Big League Player

WorldVentures, a leading direct seller of vacation club memberships, with presence in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana, has been adjudged as one of the fastest growing companies in the world. In the latest rating released by Direct Selling News, DSN, the company reached an impressive 57.1 percent growth and is ranked No. 7 among the Top 100 Greatest direct-selling brands worldwide.

DSN is the leading trade publication for the direct-selling industry, and its annual list is considered a major indicator of a company’s strength. The DSN Global 100 list acknowledges the achievements of direct selling companies and paints a clear picture of the industry’s size and trends.

WorldVentures’ rank on the elite listing bypassed industry heavyweights that were not included in the exclusive top 10 Greatest Growth Percentage Companies category. Wayne Nugent, founder of WorldVenutures, said the ranking was an indication that the company was on the right track. “It is a confirmation that our vision is sound and that our DreamTrips vacation club membership helps more people lead rich, fulfilling lives. I believe that our partnership with our Independent Representatives is the key for this continuing success.”

Reacting to the news, Mike Azcue, chief executive officer and co-founder, said: “Seven years ago, when WorldVentures was born, it wasn’t so obvious that a direct seller of travel could be a leader in the direct-selling industry. The travel industry is growing fast, and we’re proud that more and more people realize the uniqueness of DreamTrips’ travel experiences, and choose to be members and Independent Representatives.”

— Jun. 24, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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