ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the commitment of his administration to privatisation and commercialisation policy.
This was even as Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria Limited announced that it would return next year for full commercial operations.
President Buhari spoke when he gave audience to Peugeot’s Executive Vice President for Africa and the Middle-East, Mr. Jean-Christophe Quemard at a courtesy visit at the presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday.
President Buhari however stated that greater consideration would be accorded to the technical and managerial competence of prospective buyers of government-owned companies.
A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu stated that in the privatisation policy ” higher premium will be placed on the technical competence and financial clout of bidders in future privatisation exercises to avoid the running aground of privatised companies by ill-equipped and incapable investors.”
The president noted that “privatization could only succeed and yield desired benefits if buyers of government-owned companies possess essential skills and resources.”
Speaking earlier, Mr. Quemard assured the President that Peugeot was ready to reinvest in vehicle assembly in Nigeria.
He said that the company had outlined a three-phased plan to resume vehicle assembly first with 4,000 cars, rising up to 10,000 cars by 2021.
He however asked for appropriate policies and actions from the federal government.
According to him, the action will dovetail into higher local content in the assembly of Peugeot cars in Nigeria and the exportation of locally assembled Peugeot cars from Nigeria to neighbouring African countries.
It will be recalled that Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria Limited was privatized some years ago.
It has technically reverted to government ownership with up to 85 per cent of its shares now held by the Federal Government and the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).