Indications have emerged that more public assets may be put up for sale by the Federal Government as the Bureau of Public Enterprises reviews the 2020 Privatisation Work Plan.
Checks by our correspondent revealed that work on the review of the privatisation work plan is ongoing.The revised 2020 budget has a deficit of N5.37tn.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had said the Federal Government intended to finance the deficit through domestic and foreign borrowing, as well as proceeds from privatisation of public assets.
Our correspondent learnt that the BPE is reviewing the 2020 Privatisation Work Plan.The review of the work plan was informed by the drop in the projected revenue that will accrue to the Federal Government within the year.
Director General of the BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, confirmed the ongoing review of the privatisation work plan to our correspondent on Thursday.
Responding to enquiries by our correspondent, Okoh said, “We are currently reviewing the Privatisation Work Plan for 2020 to determine the transactions that are feasible within the fiscal year in view of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 health pandemic.
“We should be ready by the end of next week.”
Although Okoh did not disclose whether the review will require putting more public assets up for sale, the need to source funds for the N5.37tn deficit in the 2020 budget may compel the Federal Government to seek more revenue from additional privatisation transactions.
Before the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic instigated the ongoing review of the 2020 Privatisation Work Plan, the BPE had targeted the generation of N266.8bn as revenue from the sale and commercialisation of public assets during the year.
The sum of N3.9bn would be expended on the trans-actions, leaving a net revenue of N266.8bn.The bulk of the projected 2020 transactions are in the energy sector, where the BPE targeted N268.3bn.
The transactions from which the BPE planned to generate the N266.8bn include carry overs from the 2019 approved work plan, such as completion of sales of Yola Electricity Distribution Company and Afam Power Limited and Afam Three Fast Power.The transactions also included the Nigeria Integrated Power Projects.
Other transactions in the initial 2020 work plan include sale of additional shares of Geregu to Amperion Power, Tafawa Balewa Square, Bank of Agriculture, Dowell Schlumberger Nigeria Limited, NMC houses, Nigeria Commodity Exchange and River Basin Development Authorities and Lagos International Trade Fair complex.