Nigeria to boost 2016 budget implementation

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says efforts are being made to fast track the procurement process in Nigeria, in order to give the 2016 Budget implementation a speedy boost.

Professor Osinbajo made the disclosure at the presidential Villa, Abuja, during a meeting with a delegation from the House of Representatives’ Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation led by the Committee Chairman, Malam Ahmed Yerima.

The Vice President assured members of the Committee that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration will ensure that the process of privatisation is diligently undertaken.

“Fast-tracking is also important where necessary, including also the procurement process regarding the 2016 Budget because the current procurement period is somewhat too long,” he said.

Pending Bills

Professor Osinbajo noted that the Presidency would work with the National Assembly to fast-track pending relevant bills including the Competition Bill to further clarify government’s economic direction for investors and other business interests.

The Vice President said while government agrees that the privatization process ought to be taken seriously by all concerned, and that government ought not to be involved in running businesses, he stressed that investors and business owners who take over public enterprises should run them based on agreed terms.

According to him, “once a sale is completed, the business should keep the terms, even if there is a downturn.” 

Members of the Committee had requested among other things that the Executive arm of government inaugurates the National Council on Privatisation so as to speed up privatisation issues because government is not meant to be engaged in the business of doing business.

Speaking to Voice of Nigeria after the meeting, Chairman of the Committee, Malam Ahmed Yerima, said the public and private sectors must work together, to enhance the growth of private enterprises in Nigeria.

Malam Yerima, who represents Missau-Dambam Federal Constituency at the House of Reps, said the meeting agreed that the private sector should be allowed to run businesses while the government regulates.

He also said they were informed that the National Council on Privatization will soon be inaugurated.