“We all know the truth, but let me restate it: our country’s publicly-owned enterprises have been – on the whole – grossly inefficient, corrupt, and wasteful," Joe Anichebe, a director at the Bureau of Public Enterprises, said.
Joe Anichebe, Director of Development Institutions and Natural Resources Department at the Bureau of Public Enterprises, has described the country’s publicly-owned enterprises as “grossly inefficient, corrupt, and wasteful”.
He stated this to drive home his point on the need to support privatisation.
He also stated that 160 profit-oriented companies set up by the government between 1975 and 1988 were only able to make less than one per cent yield in 23 years.
According to Thisday, Anichebe made the claim at a forum organised by business editors in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The BPE official said the Federal Government established and maintained 590 public enterprises in all at the cost of N13 trillion within the period, the corporations gulping more than half the country’s crude oil proceeds in addition to being responsible for half of Nigeria’s foreign debt.
Anichebe revealed this while presenting a paper titled ‘Managing the Media in Nigeria’s Privatisation Programme’.
He said: “We all know the truth, but let me restate it: our country’s publicly-owned enterprises have been — on the whole — grossly inefficient, corrupt, and wasteful. We have all witnessed with embarrassment, if not consternation, the crass incompetence and mismanagement, blatant corruption and crippling complacency of our public enterprises.
“Between 1975 and 1998, government spent about N13 trillion to set up and maintain about 590 public enterprises. Of these, 160 were in the business of selling goods or services — in other words, they were designed to make profit. The profit turned out to be tiny: about a half of one per cent.
“And all these government funds were tied up in businesses that supported just 420,000 employees — out of a population of then about 120 million. They had absorbed over half of the money that Nigeria earned from its huge oil sales in the early 1970s. And they also accounted for over half of the money Nigeria owed as international debt."
Anichebe restated the need for Nigerians to support privatisation, noting that the BPE had developed a post privatisation monitoring process to track the progress of entities privatised by the government.