The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh has visited the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, SAHCOL, as part of the bureau post privatization monitoring programme.
According to Basil Agboarumi. General Manager, Corporate Communications & IT, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), after the physical inspection of SAHCOL facilities, Okoh revealed that the initial briefing he had was that the SAHCOL facilities were ‘world class’, and that he was not expecting much as the term was usually used loosely, but what he saw after the inspection truly matches the description of “world class”, hence, quite pleased.
Okoh, who was accompanied on the visit by the BPE Director of Capital Market, Baba Mohammed, and received by the Managing Director of SAHCOL, Rizwan Kadri, and the Management staff at the company headquarters, divulged that the purpose of the visit was to applaud SAHCOL for a job well done so far, and to seek whether it is ripe to give SAHCOL a clean bill of health, in order to present a discharge certificate to the company, so as to be completely off the monitoring of BPE.
Okoh revealed that SAHCOL is one of their success stories so far, and hence will want to understand the dynamics behind the success, and perhaps be able to replicate it in BPE’s future privatization and transactions. He stated, “essentially we want you to know that we are quite pleased with the progress SAHCOL has made so far, which goes to justify the principles of privatization.”
Going down memory lane, the Director General uncovered the reason behind Federal Government privatization exercise, stressing that the Federal Government, as part of the effort to put action to the general notion that the government has no business in business, enacted a law in 1999, known as the Public Enterprise Act, to identify certain government enterprises which needed to be privatized and handed over to the private sector.
This, according to him is to ensure that the efficiency of the services rendered by these enterprises are improved upon, and also to stop the bleeding in terms of the pressure that these enterprise that were not fully efficient were putting on the treasury of the federation.
He said, Nigerian Airways was one of the enterprises that was identified to be privatized, while others cuts across various sectors. Incidentally, SAHCOL was one of the subsidiaries of Nigeria Airways that was slated for privatization, and this was because of the realization that Ground Handling as an aviation services will be best managed by private sector led initiative.
In addition, he said the transaction method observed and chosen for the particular privatization of SAHCOL was full privatization, so as to heighten the level of services rendered, given the international benchmark, but in some of the other enterprise sold, government has held some stake essentially in order to direct the strategic services that is provided to the public space.
Reinforcing the essence of his visit to SAHCOL, Okoh emphasized that, what BPE tries to do, especially for the fully privatized companies like SAHCOL “is to keep monitoring the performances of the level of services rendered, given the international best practices that have to be met, to ensure that they meet the critical objectives of privatization in the first place.”