Nigeria is considering selling stakes in about 20 state-run companies in a bid to raise funds and improve governance at the entities.
(Bloomberg) — Nigeria is considering selling stakes in about 20 state-run companies in a bid to raise funds and improve governance at the entities.
Nigerian National Petroleum Co. is among firms the government may sell a stake in, according to Armstrong Takang, chief executive officer at the Ministry of Finance Incorporated or MOFI, a state-owned asset management company. The agency is considering options including strategic sales and initial public offerings and aims to implement the plan within 18 months, he said in a phone interview.
Some of the entities “need private sector to take controlling shares,” Takang said, adding that the major consideration for the government is to create value rather than retain control. “It is better for us to own 49% of a high performing entity than 90% of an entity that is under-performing.”
The proposed sales are the latest move by President Bola Tinubu’s administration to overhaul Nigeria’s moribund economy. Since taking over in May, Tinubu has ended costly gasoline subsidies and is revamping the nation’s multiple exchange-rate system. Nigeria’s dollar bonds due 2047 have rallied since his inauguration.
Founded in 1959, the MOFI manages Nigerian government investments in about 130 assets across sectors such as infrastructure, financial services, energy and industries, according to its website. Former President Muhammadu Buhari in January appointed new management led by Wale Edun, who is an adviser to Tinubu.
The agency is in the process of appointing consultants including valuers, financial advisers, lawyers, bankers and others to handle different aspects of the transactions, Takang said.
Nigeria has successfully disposed of some public assets in the past including the sale of Nigerian Aviation Handling Co. Plc, an airport services provider.
However, some of the sales haven’t met expectations, particularly in the power sector. Nigerian regulators and banks have taken over companies that account for more than half the West African nation’s electricity grid after they failed to pay their debts.
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