The Federal Government is committed to the reform and the repositioning of the Nigerian economy to accelerate the process of rapid growth and development. A key aspect of the economic reform agenda is the privatization and liberalization of the public sector. The privatization of public enterprises in Nigeria, which commenced since 1989, is one of the largest in Africa in terms of its scope.
The privatization programme of Federal Government was therefore designed to foster accelerated economic growth, through expanded private investment and improved efficiency in the productive sectors, and in infrastructure; and to create an enabling environment for private sector participation and competition in infrastructure and services in all the sectors of the economy.
The Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act 1999 provides the enabling legislation for the implementation of the privatization and commercialization programme. In order to ensure effective coordination and proper implementation of the programme, the enabling act also provides for the establishment of the following institutions / bodies:
- The National Council on Privatization (NCP), which is the apex body charged with the overall responsibility of formulating and approving policies on Privatization and Commercialization.
- The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is the Secretariat of the NCP and is charged with the overall responsibility of implementing the policies and decisions of the Council.
Nigeria is undertaking the most robust and ambitious reform and privatization programme in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. To underline the scale of the programme, the BPE has privatized, commercialized or carried out concession in 151 enterprises between 1999 and 2007 in different sectors of the Nigerian economy including:
• Oil & Gas;
• Electric Power;
• Solid Minerals;
• Iron and Steel;
• National Facilities;
• Tourism; etc.
This is in addition to 88 enterprises privatized by the Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization (TCPC} before 1999. It is the same Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization (TCPC) that later metamorphosed into the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
Over the last two decades, the Bureau has gained valuable experience and competence in all spheres of reform and privatization implementation.