Nigeria to sell 36 assets to boost revenue as oil earnings drop: Official

*The electricity generation plants, for sale or concession, have the capacity to add 3,300 megawatts to the country’s power generation, while the economic zones will boost export earnings by about $2 billion to help cushion shortfall in oil revenue ─Alex Okoh, Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As crude oil earnings in in Nigeria fell short of target in the first five months of 2021, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the privatisation agency in Africa’s largest economy, has hinted at plans to sell or allow private investors to manage 36 state-owned assets to boost government revenues that have come under pressure from lower oil earnings.

ConsumerConnect gathered Mr. Alex Okoh, Director-General of BPE, Tuesday, July July 13 disclosed that two free economic zones in Kano, Northern Nigeria, and Calabar in the South-South oil region as well as power generation plants are among assets marked for sale or concession.

A power plant in Nigeria

Okoh said that the power plants have the capacity to add 3,300 megawatts to the country’s electricity generation, while the economic zones would boost export earnings by about $2 billion over the next five to seven years.

The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in a report Tuesday aslo noted that Nigeria’s oil earnings fell short of target by 49.5 percent in the first five months through May this year.

The Ministry said the non-oil revenue as well fell below expectation by 24.9 percent, but the privatisation will help to attract capital towards revamping the assets and raising cash to support the government amid declining budget income.

Recall that Moody’s Investors Service November 2020 reported that Africa’s most populous country and leading oil producer requires at least $3 trillion investment over 30 years to close an existing infrastructure gap.

Amaechi Aloke, Director of infrastructure and Public Private Partnership (PPP) at the BPE stated the agency is collaborating with the World Bank to develop about 100 projects to make them attractive to private investors.

The Director of Infrastructure and PPP said the projects, which are in the oil and gas, communication, agriculture, water resources, housing and transport sectors, would be presented to potential investors at a virtual conference September 2021.

In the same vein, it was learnt Mr. Uche Orji, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) at a conference, stated the organisation plans to establish 20 healthcare centres to deepen medical infrastructure through a partnership with co-investors.

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