Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire joined the services of the Bureau for Public Enterprises in 2007. The lawyer, who is also an investment expert and administrator, was first deployed to the Department of Post Privatisation and Monitoring (PPM) of the agency.
Three years later, the dogged administrator moved up the ladder from Assistant Director to Deputy Director, combining his role in PPM with that of taking charge of the council’s secretariat.
He has since been an active participant in the privatisation, monitoring and reformation of banking, telecommunications, pension, petroleum services, and cement and hotel industries.
These, amongst others, have been the success stories of the bureau’s initiatives, which have impacted positively on the Nigerian economy.
Now, nine years on, the bureau has cause to beat its chest and say his sojourn has been worthwhile.
Taking over the affairs of the agency a few months ago, in an acting capacity, Akpotaire rolled up his sleeves once again knowing full well that this responsibility does not tally with his erstwhile departmental assignment.
He has since then embarked on collaborative efforts with sister agencies that, he believes, can add value to the programmes of the bureau.
Some of these agencies include Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Recently, Dr. Akpotaire hinted that the Bureau had commenced a comprehensive review of failed privatised enterprises’ data, across the country, to ascertain their respective performance indices
It was in this regard that he initiated the partnership with anti-graft and security agencies in the country, to carry out meticulous due diligence on prospective investors willing to buy government’s assets.
Speaking recently on a television programme, Dr. Akpotaire revealed that the Federal Government plans to reform the seven national parks to become a foreign exchange-earning entity for the government, in view of the dwindling revenue from crude oil.
Aware of the fact that government has no business in business, he said the Abuja Commodity Exchange would commence operations in the next nine months as soon as the Federal Government gives its approval for its privatisation, adding that the World Bank is funding the advisory services for the scheme.
But the Sapele-born bureaucrat has some regrets! That is that despite the successes the bureau has recorded in its reform and privatisation programmes, only failed exercises were usually reported or highlighted.
However, the development, according to him, will not dampen his spirit as plans are underway to execute pending reforms to add value to the economy.
One of these is in the agriculture sector that would create jobs for the teeming rural youths and rejuvenate the over 380,000 hectares of land for irrigation around dams, which the Federal Government has already invested in, but which are substantially lying fallow.
Born on February 18, 1961, in Sapele, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, Akpotaire is a 1985 Law graduate of the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State. He also holds an LL.M (Business Law) from the same University and PhD (Corporate & Investment Law) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State.
He joined the BPE as an Assistant Director in the Post Privatisation Monitoring (PPM) Department in 2007 and between 2008 and 2010, he moved up to become the Deputy Director/Head of Council Secretariat, a Unit responsible for all the National Council on Privatisation (NCP)’s Secretarial activities.
In February 2010, he was appointed as director in charge of National Facilities and Agricultural Resources, a position he held until his new appointment.
Before joining BPE, Akpotaire had worked as an Assistant Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Benin and Senior Lecturer in the same Faculty.
He was, at various times, a private legal practitioner in Lagos, classroom teacher in Delta and Edo States; Statistical Assistant with the old Bendel State Ministry of Economic Development.
Akpotaire has attended several courses and seminars in Nigeria and abroad; he is married with children.