<<< By Terver Akase >>>
The present administration in Benue State made it clear on assumption of office that government lacks the financial resources to run its industries so it would get investors for lease, concessioning and related acceptable industrial practices. This has been done with the Fertilzer Blending Plant.
The decision to privatize the said government entities became necessary when investors were not showing genuine interest in the companies. A few who came, received maximum cooperation from the Benue State Government which was willing to provide its own part of the partnership and had indeed begun to do so in Taraku Mills Ltd, Wannune Tomato/Mango Factory, Katsina-Ala Yam Flour Factory Ltd among others where revamping efforts commenced.
The State Government had waited till the time given to the investors who indicated interest elapsed. None returned.
Sometimes, the fear we show towards new policies soon gives way to belief and conviction. Privatisation is not a bad government policy. The fact that a company in Benue is sold to a private owner does not mean it is to be lifted to Sokoto or Kano. All the companies put on sale will remain located in Benue State after their sale. The investors will revive the companies and employ our youths. Imagine all these industries back on stream in the state. Imagine the number of young graduates that would get jobs.
Privatization leads to improved efficiency in service delivery. Privately-owned companies improve their operations in order to reduce costs and increase profits.
Privatization reduces government’s political interference.
Privatization urges improvement in companies through competition. When a state owned entity is privatized, it loses its government protection and is forced to adapt to the market by providing better services or products in order to survive and thrive.
The proposed privatisation of government companies in Benue State is a policy in the right direction which deserves the support of all. It is a win-win development.