Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has stressed the need for privatised State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in Nigeria to integrate corporate governance as an essential policy for their transformation and competitiveness.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Alex Okoh, Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Wednesday in Abuja.
El-Rufai said this at a one-day corporate governance training, organised by the BPE for its alternate directors on the boards of privatised successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
He was represented by Gambo Hamza, Executive Secretary, Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA).
El-Rufai said that the concept and practice of corporate governance would increase productivity and competitiveness of the SOEs.
He said it would also help to ensure that public funds invested in them were not mismanaged but spent efficiently.
He said that by creating more transparent and economically viable SOEs to be privatised or privased, corporate governance would ensure actual service delivery to the public.
He said that this would guarantee value for money for the public or consumers.
El-Rufai said that in many countries, corporate governance had been used as a tool to improve the efficiency of the SOEs and as a mechanism to improve their attractiveness to investors.
This, he said, increased state income from privatisation and post privatisation processes.
The governor said that the convergence of the global economy towards market based systems had elevated the concept of corporate governance to a new height.
He said that this had put pressure on the modern day corporations around the world to comply with international best practices and standards.
“It is becoming increasingly recognised that companies should be managed efficiently following prudential guidelines to protect the interests of stakeholders rather than promoting insider abuse.
“Nigerian companies are not exempted from this global trend.
“The various opinions which explain the positive and negative aspects of separating ownership from management in the modern corporation make corporate governance a sensitive subject.
“This leads to a number of issues relating to efficient control of the assets of corporations in the interest of all stakeholders.’’
The Acting Director-General of BPE, Mr Vincent Akpotaire, said as one of the founding fathers of Nigeria’s privatisation programme, El-Rufai’s activities as Governor were a source of pride to the bureau.
He said that the bureau shared in the governor’s aspiration for Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole, and that the governor had been a worthy ambassador of the bureau.