Although the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) party in Bauchi state opposes the PDP government’s leasing and/or sale of six dying industries, the government maintains its position that privatization of the ailing industries is best. interest of the people of the state.
The government has therefore stated that it has made all necessary arrangements to sell the state-owned Yankari Games Reserves and Safari to bring back the glory days of the famous games reserve in West Africa.
Addressing the government’s position on Saturday while addressing journalists at Government House, the state government secretary, Barrister Kashim Mohammed, explained that the privatization of the six dying industries was in the best interests of the people, adding that there are even more would be privatized before the end of the administration.
According to the SSG, “Yankari is definitely one of the areas of focus. We are excited about Yankari Games Reserve because the state of Bauchi should be a pearl of tourism and we want to maximize our capacity in that sector’.
He added: “What happened is that there was a Bauchi State Tourism Board, a board of directors under the Bauchi Ministry of Tourism. If you want to bring in people from the private sector to come and manage an entity, they will they want to deal with a legal entity, they wouldn’t want to deal with a board of directors”.
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Ibrahim Kashim further explained: “We met with many people who came in and we had to set up a legal regime. We’ve done the exact laws. We took it to the House of Representatives, they passed it.”
“The Bauchi Tourism Board law is one of those that the governor highlighted three to weeks ago. As the law is accentuated, we are talking to people interested in helping us develop our tourism potential,” he added.
The SSG went on to say, “Besides the Wikki Spring, there are four other springs in Yankari that have not been developed.” We are thinking of privatizing Yankari. We’ve been to parks in Paris and Disney, Maimi where different companies do one or the other.”
According to him, “Our thoughts are to open Yankari where companies will build hotels, children’s playgrounds and develop the tourism industry”
It should be recalled that deputy governor Senator Baba Tela, who is chairman of the Bureau of Privatization and Economic Reforms, when announcing the lease and sale of the ailing entities last week, had maintained that privatization was in the best interests of the population of the state.
Baba Tela had also revealed that more state-owned companies would be put up for sale to improve their management and generate revenue for the state.
However, the first phase of the privatization of six public assets did not go down well with the opposition. The All Progressives Congress, which viewed the process as skewed in favor of family and friends of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), led the government and deprived the people of the state.
Chairman of the APC in the state, Alhaji Aliyu Babayo Misau, called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies to investigate the Bauchi state government’s move to remove the property of six to give up the industries through privatization.
“We call on all the people of Bauchi State to remain calm and be aware of the activities of the state government to ensure that their rights and interests are not compromised,” Misau said.
Recall that last week the government announced the lease of Zaranda Hotel and Wikki Hotel in the amount of N 1.2 billion and N 200 million respectively for a period of 25 years.
It also sold Bauchi Fertilizer and Blending Company for N400 million, Bauchi Meat Factory for N301 million, Bauchi Furniture Company for N150 million and Galambi Cattle for N150 million.