- By Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
Immediate past Chief whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was on Monday night announced as the upper legislative Lawmaker to superintend over the affairs of the Senate committee on Privatisation.
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio during the nocturnal hours of the day, announced the composition and leadership of Standing Committees of the Senate, to carry out its oversight functions.
The long-awaited communiqué of the committees came shortly after the Senate resumed from its break at 9.59 pm and ended at 10.47 pm after it had concluded all the business of the day in the longest session ever by the Senate following the confirmation of the appointment of 45 out of 48 ministerial nominees forwarded to it by President Bola Tinubu.
Also on the list of the 41 committees announced by Akpabio has Abaribe (APGA-Abia ), Abdulaziz Yari (APC-Zamfara ) and Former President of Senate Ahmad Lawan heading ,Power, Water and Defence committees respectively. Some others are Senators Isa Jibrin (APC Kogi East ) , Customs , Elisha Abbo ( APC Adamawa North ) , Culture and Tourism , Victor Umeh ( LP Anambra Central ) Diaspora, amongst others.
Under his latest leadership task, Kalu a two time former Governor of Abia State is expected to chart the course for oversight functions on the operations of the over 70 already privatized and soon to be privatized entities in the country.
The Award winning Senator on infrastructural development and empowerment is also expected to supervise the activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprises which was established under the provisions of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act of 1999.
Coupled with his successful administrative and entrepreneurship track record, Senator Kalu having established thriving international and local business companies is envisaged to monitor the activities of privatized Federal Government companies by the Bureau of Public Enterprises since the inception of the sales of those companies to private entities.
Much will be expected from Senator Kalu who transformed, popularized and exploited the potentials of the office of the Senate Chief Whip which was previously perceived as unpopular.
The seasoned industrialist cum Politician is also anticipated to lead other members of the committee to engage with key stakeholders and players in the private sector to ensure that the laudable objectives of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act of 1999 are achieved.
The two time Senator is expected to carry out a holistic overview of the privatized entities in view of its laudable objectives of eradicating corruption, plugging the leakages in State owned Enterprises, attracting Foreign Direct Investment and stopping rent seeking were attained.
Being an employer of over 90,000 workers, Senator Orji Kalu is believed to have a basic understanding of the importance of privatization as a key tool for improving the efficient allocation of resources, for mobilizing investment, and for stimulating private sector development.
As the 10th Senate gears up for the 2024 budget financing, Entrepreneurs in the country will be looking up to the Harvard Business School Graduate as he introduces his years of experience to retool the private sector of the economy in order to boost employment capacity, productivity and efficiency of privatized outfits. Kalu is also expected to supervise the privatization process of Federal Government companies designated for take over by private companies.
As Orji Kalu begins his new Legislative assignment, bottlenecks that have made it difficult for acquired Federal Government enterprises to thrive are expected to be addressed, and companies that have failed to deliver will also be looked into.
Some entities under the purview of Kalu’s committee include, The Power holding Company of Nigeria which was in 2013 unbundled to pave the way for the emergence of six Generating Companies(GENCOs), 11 Distribution Companies(DISCOs) and one Transmission Company of Nigeria. Both the GENCOS and DISCOs are fully privatized outfits.
The 11 DISCOs are: Abuja Distribution Company;Benin Distribution Company;Eko Distribution Company;Enugu Distribution Company;Ibadan Distribution Company; Ikeja;Distribution Company; Jos Distribution Company;Kano Distribution Company;Port Harcourt Distribution Company; Yola Distribution Company and Kaduna Distribution Company.
The GENCOs are; Afam Power Plc; Ughelli Power Plc; Geregu Power Plc;Kainji Power Plc; Shiroro Hydro Power Plc; Sapele Power Plc; and Egbin Power Plc;National Integrated Power Plants and the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
In the Oil and Gas sector the following oil marketing companies are also expected to undergo oversight they are: Forte Oil (formerly African Petroleum Plc);Oando Plc (former Unipetrol Nigeria Plc); and ConOil Plc (former National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company);West Africa Refinery Company in Sierra Leone (WARCO);Eleme Petrochemical Company Limited (EPCL) and Calabar Liquefied Petroleum Gas Company.
Also on the list are ; Eight Oil Service Companies (OSC) Baroid Drilling Chemical Products Limited; Baroid of Nigeria Limited; Dowell Schlumberger Limited;M-l Nigeria Limited;Solus Schall Nigeria Limited;Sedos Forex Nigeria Limited;Schlumberger Testing & Production Services Limited and Baker Forex Nigeria Limited and Stallion Property & Development Company.
The following list of yet to privatized entities are also expected to be monitored; Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC),Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC) and Port Harcourt (1&11) Refining Company Limited (PHRC) and Pipelines & Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC).
In the Gas sector the Nigerian Gas Company Limited (NGC) which has the Liquefied Petroleum Gas plants (LPGs ): Enugu LPG, Ibadan LPG,Ilorin LPG,Makurdi LPG,Kano LPG,Gombe LPG and Gusau LPG will be looked into with regards to their privatization statuses.
Others include ; Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN), ANAMMCO Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company Limited, Jos Steel Rolling Company, Abuja International Hotels Limited , The Nigeria Machine Tools Limited, Oshogbo,
The Nigerian Mining Company (NMC) is also anticipated to be supervisory purview of Senator Kalu. The NMC is 100% owned and funded by the Federal Government under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development. (MSMD). It has eight (8) Subsidiaries, four (4) Projects and has shares in over twenty-one (21) Associated/Joint Venture companies. All the subsidiaries of the Corporation are wholly owned by the NMC except the Bricks and Clay Product Company and Consolidated Tins Mines, all in Jos, where FGN has majority share holding. This in effect translates to the Federal Government owning them through the agencies of the Corporation.
Kalu is also expected to preside over the awaiting privatization process of the National Inland Waterways Authority (Niwa), NMC, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Abuja National Stadium Complex and Games Village, Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Iwopin Pulp and Paper Company (IPPC) Limited, Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Company limited (FSFC) Kaduna, Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB) , Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria Gas Company Limited (NGC), Warri Delta State, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), Warri Refining & Petrochemicals Company Limited (WRPC), Nigerian Coal Corporation, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Nigerian Coal Corporation,
As the President Tinubu presents his first National budget towards the end of the year , Kalu’s committee will review the Bureau of Public Enterprises budgeting structure to ensure that provisions for transaction costs are made in the Bureau’s to ensure a more efficient privatization process to reflect the President’s economic plans.