Nigeria to sell Ajaokuta, others for 2018 budget

Posted by Clara Nwachukwu, Chijioke Nelson (Bali, Indonesia) and Mathias Okwe (Abuja) | 15 October 2018 | 1,032 times

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•Ajaokuta plant

The Federal Government is ready to offer more of its assets for sale soon, under the ongoing privatisation programme aimed at raising more money to implement the country’s 2018 deficit-based budget. Just recently, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited Plc was offloaded, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which already has a majority stake, emerging the preferred buyer, given the company’s security status.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made the disclosure while briefing the Nigerian delegation at the end of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group meetings in Bali, Indonesia, yesterday, affirmed that more assets are in the offing.

“I am aware, as a member of the National Council on Privatisation, that more are coming and I believe in due course that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) will make this available for us. I am aware of the situation of Ajaokuta Steel Company of Nigeria. It is also on the cart, first for a total review of the process of privatisation and payment, so that our aluminum sector can eventually come alive,” he said.

Also, the CBN told investors that it would continue to defend the local currency through exchange rate interventions, to maintain price stability and avoid currency depreciation. Assuring stakeholders that the country’s fundamentals support the move, the apex bank noted that it is also a way of protecting financial institutions that would record increased non-performing loans in currency depreciation.

According to Emefiele, despite the increasing capital reversal, Nigeria has lost reserves only by a margin, compared to other countries. But at the same time, it has sustained stability in foreign exchange market.

A recent audit report meanwhile revealed that a reactivation of the steel company would cost $652 million. Also in Indonesia, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would soon get a new reporting template that would ensure more transparent deals with public funds.

The template, she said, would have to be agreed upon. Then NNPC would start reporting in that template with the goal of making NNPC’s reporting simpler and understandable, so that more information would be provided on revenue generated and cost incurred.

Excerpted from Guardian report


Source: News Express

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