Though the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State has declared its opposition to the leasing and or outright sale of six moribund firms by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led administration, the government has maintained that privatising the ailing firms is in the best interest of the people of the state.
The government says it has concluded necessary arrangements to sell the Yankari Games Reserves and Safari in order to bring back the glory days of the famous games reserve in West Africa.
Addressing journalists at the Government House, Bauchi on Saturday, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Kashim Mohammed, explained that privatising the six moribund businesses was in the best interest of the people, and that more would be privatised before the end of the current administration.
He said: “Yankari is definitely one of the areas of concern. We are keen about Yankari Games Reserve because the state is supposed to be a Pearl of Tourism and we want to maximise our capacity in that sector.”
“What happened is that there was a Bauchi State Tourism Board which is a board under the Ministry of Tourism. If you want to bring in private sector people to come and manage any entity, they will want to deal with a legal entity, they would not want to deal with a board.
“We have had meetings with a lot of people coming in and we had to establish a legal regime. We did the exact law. We took it to the House of Assembly, they passed it.
“The Bauchi Tourism Board Law is one of the laws the governor assented to about three weeks ago. Now that the law has been assented to, we are talking with people who are interested in coming to help us develop our tourism potentials.
“Apart from the Wikki Spring, there are four other springs in Yankari that have not been developed. We are thinking of privatising Yankari.’’
Nigerian Tribune recalls that while announcing the lease and sale of the ailing entities recently, the deputy governor, Senator Baba Tela, who is the Chairman, Bureau for Privatisation and Economic Reforms, had maintained that privatisation was in the best interest of the people of the state.
He had also revealed that more government enterprises would be put up for sale to improve their management and generate revenue for the state.
However, the first phase of privatisation of six public assets has not gone down well with the opposition party, the APC, which views the process as skewed to benefit family and friends of the PDP- led government and shortchange the people of the state.
Chairman of the APC in the state, Alhaji Aliyu Babayo Misau, called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and other anti-graft agencies to cause investigations into the sate government’s move to hands-off the ownership of six of the industries through privatisation.
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