Partial Commercialisation of River Basins to Attract Private Funds, Says FG
By Ndubuisi Francis The federal government has explained that it approved the partial commercialisation of 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) with the aim of pooling private sector fund…
By Ndubuisi FrancisThe federal government has explained that it approved the partial commercialisation of 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) with the aim of pooling private sector funds for their revitalisation, as well as ensure effective service delivery.
Inaugurating a Project Implementation Committee (PIC) for the partial commercialisation of four pilot RBDAs in the country, the government noted that the partial commercialisation process does not entail privatising any of the assets of the authorities.
The RBDAs include Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority (UNRBDA), Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA), Sokoto-Rima Basin Development Authority (SRBDA) and Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA).The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who inaugurated the nine-member committee in Abuja, which has a six-month timeline to wrap up its assignment, expressed happiness that the implementation of the processes leading to the partial commercialisation of the RBDAs commenced successfully with the appointment of a Transaction Adviser, and the conduct of a pilot study of four out of the 12 RBDAs to evaluate their critical assets and commercial viability towards partially commercialising them. headtopics.com
While commending the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Transaction Adviser for their commitment towards the successful partial commercialisation of the RBDAs to make them sustainable, he charged the PIC members to ensure a seamless discharge of their assignment.
He stated that the federal government approved the partial commercialisation of the 12 RBDAs with the aim of pooling private sector funds for their revitalisation as well as ensuring effective service delivery.Noting that the river basins were strategic players in the actualisation of national food security, jobs and wealth creation through their various agricultural activities, Adamu noted that to make them more productive, commercially viable and self-reliant, the federal government approved the partial commercialisation of the 12 RBDAs.
He said: “Therefore, the partial commercialisation of the RBDAs is a golden opportunity to contribute to the advancement of the reform agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari through Integrated River Basin Management.“This is to serve as a vehicle for enhancing food security, jobs and wealth creation as encapsulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the government.”
He listed the terms of reference (ToR) to include the review of the approved recommendations and the proposed implementation strategy by the advisers for the partial commercialisation and introduction of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in some projects of the pilot RBDAs. headtopics.com
The committee is to also monitor and review the implementation and make appropriate recommendations to the minister.It is also to recommend ways and means to ensure optimal utilisation of RBDA facilities and liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure smooth and seamless implementation of the recommendations.
According to him, membership of the committee is drawn from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ministry of Water Resources, UNRBDA, NDBDA, SRBDA and OORBDA.He declared that the process of partial commercialisation of the RBDAs does not entail the privatisation of their assets.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Director-General of BPE, Mr Alex Okoh, said that the committee has six months to complete its assignment, adding that the outcome of the assignment would determine if such reform would be replicated in the eight remaining RBDAs.
Okoh said: “I would like to reiterate that we are optimistic on the path we are pursuing for the partial commercialisation and introduction of PPP in some projects of the RBDAs.“We believe they will lead to the optimisation of the RBDAs assets and the key resource of water along the value chain of agriculture, irrigation, small scale power generation and potable water for consumption. headtopics.com
“May I use this opportunity once again to reiterate that this is not a privatisation, it is the commercialisation and optimal utilisation of the assets and the resources of the RBDAs.’’In his remarks, the PIC team coordinator, Audu Uba, who spoke on behalf of the other eight members, assured the minister that they would put in their best and work assiduously to ensure that the objectives of the federal government were realised.Read more: THISDAY LIVE »
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