Bauchi State Government has reacted to the threat by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to go to court and seek redress if the recent privatization of the state’s moribund companies is not reversed.
Speaking at a press conference in the New Banquet Hall of the Government House on Saturday, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barrister Kashim Mohammed, said that the process was done more transparently for the interest of the people of the state.
The SSG, who said if the APC-led Federal Government can privatize Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the APC in Bauchi State should bury its head in shame for not taking exception to the action but choosing to criticize the present administration in Bauchi for doing a similar exercise.
“On their demand that government should reverse the decision or they will go to court, I would have said they can go to hell, but at least since they want to go to court let them go to court,” the SSG said.
The state government, who said that decision had come to stay, insisted that privatizing the six moribund industries was in the best interest of the people, adding that the Yankari Games Reserve is also going to be privatized.
“We are keen about Yankari Games Reserve because Bauchi State is supposed to be a Pearl of Tourism and we want to maximize our capacity in that sector,” he said.
According to Kashim, the privatization process was done in line with the international best practices, adding that it is better for any reasonable government to have a certain percentage share in a working company than to have a 100 percent share in a dead enterprise.
While citing instances with the Nigerian Telecommunication Industry NITEL, the SSG said that the privatization of the sector had created millions of job opportunities for Nigerians.
It can be recalled that the Deputy Governor of the state, Senator Baba Tela, had asserted that privatisation of the six Bauchi moribund companies was in the best interest of the people of the state.
The deputy Governor who doubles as the Chairman of Bureau for Privatisation and Economic Reforms, had also revealed that more government enterprises will be privatized to improve their management and generate revenue for the state.
Not contented with the government’s decision, the leading opposition APC in the state viewed the process as skewed to benefit family and friends of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led government and shortchange the people of the state.
The APC, led by its Chairman in the state, Alhaji Aliyu Babayo Misau, had, while addressing a press conference, called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to probe the entire process.