House Begins FG Assets Recovery In Privatised Entities
The ad hoc committee set up by the House of Representatives to investigate and recover liquid and fixed assets of the Federal Government in privatised enterprises has begun its assignment.
The committee, chaired by Ibrahim Misau, who is also Chairman of the House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, held its inaugural meeting in Abuja on Monday.
Misau stated that the panel would deliver on its mandate.
He said in part, “I want to assure the Speaker and members of the public that we shall work with the House Standing Rules and uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in doing our job.
“As Chairman of the Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, I know as a matter of fact that the legal framework for privatisation and commercialisation of public enterprises is the 1999 Public Enterprises Act.
“The Act established the NCP, which is chaired by the Vice President, that makes all privatisation and commercialisation decisions, while the BPE, the Secretariat, is responsible for implementing NCP decisions.
“We shall X-ray the transactions processed to find any missing monies, assets, dividends of the Federal Government that are not accounted for or missing and recover all on behalf of Nigerians and the Federal Government.”
The House had on February 10, 2021, resolved to recover Federal Government’s capital, shares and dividends in privatised enterprises, some of which have been liquidated and possessed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
The move was based on a motion moved by Mr Mukhtar Ahmed titled ‘Urgent Need to Investigate and Recover Monies, Assets and Dividends of the Federal Government in Some Privatised Public Enterprises.’
The House further resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to ‘investigate, determine those assets and report back within eight weeks’.
Ahmed had noted that the Federal Government embarked on privatisation and commercialisation of public enterprises to introduce private sector resources and discipline, create jobs and reduce the burden of funding of the public enterprise on the national treasury.
He recalled that before and after the privatisation of some public enterprises, the Federal Government still shares in some of the enterprises and is entitled to dividends.
The lawmaker said, “The House is aware that some of the assets, cash and residual shares in privatised public companies, like NlCON insurance, Nigerian Re-Insurance and Nicon Luxury Hotels are already taken over by AMCON over acquisition loans.”
He added that the House was concerned that the Federal Government may not be able to recover the monies, dividends and assets except if they were not properly determined.