Reps move to probe privatized public enterprises, recover accrued revenue

Ascertain FG's equity in NICON Insurance, Nigeria ReInsurance, NICON Luxury

The House of Representatives on Wednesday unveiled plans to investigate the status of some of the public assets by successive administrations and ensure recovery of revenue accrued to Federal Government.

According to the lawmakers, some of the companies, including NlCON Insurance, Nigerian Re-Insurance and NICON Luxury Hotels are already taken over by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) over acquisition loans.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Mukhtar Ahmed, who underscored the need for the recovery of revenue accruing from the privatized companies.

In his lead debate, Hon. Ahmed said: “Federal Government of Nigeria embarked on privatization and commercialization of public enterprises to introduce private sector resources and discipline, create jobs, reduce the burden of funding of the public enterprise on the national treasury.

“The House notes also that prior to and post-privatization of some federal public enterprises, the Federal Government still shares in some of the enterprises and are therefore entitled to dividends.

“The House is aware that some of the assets, cash and residual shares in Privatized public companies like NlCON insurance, Nigerian Re-Insurance and NICON Luxury Hotels are already taken over by AMCON over acquisition loans.

“The House is concerned that the Federal Government may not be able to recover those monies, dividends and assets except if they are not properly determined.

“The House is further aware that the Federal Government needs money to finance the budget.

To this end, the House resolved to constitute an Ad-hoc Committee that will investigate, determine those assets and report back to the House within 8 weeks.

Also at plenary, the House mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to investigate the serious allegations on flagrant abuse of the Procurement Act 2007 by the new management of Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu State.

The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon Henry Nwawuba, who expressed concern over various allegations levelled against the new PRODA management team which allegedly embarked on contract cancellation and re-award of same without the approval of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) two months after assuming office.

The lawmaker who called for the House intervention, kicked against the decision of the new PRODA management team to commence de-novo the already concluded 2020 procurement process where various contractors have executed their contracts, and are yet to be paid due to the same.

To this end, the House directed PRODA management to stop forthwith all further procurement activities in the 2020 Appropriation Act pending the conclusion of its investigation.

In line with its resolution, the House Committee on Public Procurement is expected to invite the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu; BPP Director General as well as PRODA management to appear before the Committee and report back to the House within 7 days.

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