LAGOS- Some financial experts have attributed the nation’s stunted economic growth, limited human capital development and paucity of needed infrastructure to the extant privatisation legal framework.
The experts made the assertion in an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the just-concluded 4th annual Capital Market Retreat in Abuja.
They said that government needed to urgently review the privatisation laws to maximize the benefits of the exercise in terms of sustainable economic growth and employment.
According to most of them, the current privatisation legal framework was contrived in a manner that would make government long-term economic development a mirage.
They argued that the Federal Government’s inability to provide “medium and long-term development clauses” in the privatisation document for emerging companies to be listed within a specific period remained an anathema.
They also said that experiences from successful nations’ privatisation provided their citizens opportunities to benefit in the transformation of the commonwealth into private enterprises.
Malam Garba Kurfi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of APT Securities and Funds Ltd, blamed the Federal Government for the sustained shortcomings in the nation’s privatisation laws.
“Most of us support the privatisation policy of opening the nation’s investment space but with the provision that companies evolving from the exercise must be listed after a certain period.
“Honestly, government shortcomings have compelled us to support the National Assembly’s current moves to make laws that will compel such companies to be listed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
“The Federal Government incentives’ approach to the issue since the beginning of privatisation in 1999 has failed,” Kurfi said.
Kurfi said current moves by the American Tower Company (ATC) to acquire the Bharti Airtel’s more than 4,800 telecommunication towers in Nigeria brought to the fore some of the inadequacies of the privatisation laws.
It will be recalled that following the major national telecommunications companies’ divestment from the operation of communications towers, foreign concerns moved in to take over their management and operations.
ATC in its second attempt to access the nation’s telecommunication tower business after an earlier failure, recently bided for about 1.05 billion dollars (N176 billion) for the acquisition of Airtel’s telecommunication towers.