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News (147)

Nigeria: U.S.-Based Nigerians Seek Emergency Declaration in Power Sector

A former national chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE), Mr. Emmanuel Akinwole, has told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the previous privatisation contract for the power sector “was a bad business proposal that could not work. He said the slow success in the sector was due to the faulty privatisation procedure and had nothing to do with the appointment of Mr. Babatunde Fashola as the previous minister.” Akinwole says the contract should be reviewed.

Source: allAfrica.com

"Mexico should contemplate the partial privatization of Pemex"

With its debt growing, the president of Bursamétrica, Ernesto O'Farril, says Mexico should contemplate the partial privatization of Pemex, the Mexican energy company. His proposal “considers that the debt of Pemex, as well as the Federal Electricity Commission, would have to be separate on two fronts: unproductive assets and labor liabilities that are left to the government and, on the other hand, projects that may be more attractive for private investors.”

Source: La Jornada

Employees are threatening to strike over a proposal to privatise the power area boards

Employees of the Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) are threatening to strike over a proposal to privatise the power area boards in Ranchi and Jamshedpur. “JBVNL staff, under the banner of the Jharkhand State Bijli Kamgar Union (JSBKU), took out a massive procession in front of JBVNL's Dhanbad area board office, protesting against the proposal of the Board of Directors' committee. Union leaders also sent a memorandum to chief minister Raghubar Das through the area board general manager in this regard. If the government endorses the proposal, all 5,000 permanent employees of the JBVNL would go on a strike, warned the union leaders. They questioned the rationale behind the proposal to engage private hands in the two top revenue-earning power area boards.” [Hindustan Times, 7 March 2019]

Source: peopleoverprof.it

The government has relaunched a privatization program

After a 15-year hiatus, the government has relaunched a privatization program by floating a minority stake in Eastern Tobacco, a monopoly cigarette maker, on the stock exchange. The state asset sale program was agreed with the International Monetary Fund as part of a $12bn three-year Extended Fund Facility. Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik says “the government intends to float additional stakes in listed public enterprise companies, including Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company, Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries Company, and Heliopolis Company For Housing and Development. An adjusted list of companies active in the industrial, mining as well as energy and petroleum sectors are to be offered in an initial public offering later on in the year.” [bne IntelliNews, 4 March 2019]

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Prepa’s Privatization Lacks Transparency

The possible privatization of Puerto Rico’s electrical utility is being debated in the U.S. Congress. The largest creditor of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), National Public Finance, says that regulations for the privatization of the bankrupt utility “lack transparency, required PREPA to compensate ‘unsuccessful proponents’ and limit the role of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau (PREB), the energy sector’s regulator.” But the Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego has suggested the appointment of an inspector general as alternative to a receiver. “Under UTIER's suggestion, the inspector general would monitor, audit, and investigate the authority’s activities. It would cover personnel practices and hiring regulations, procurements, fiscal and accounting issues, capital and energy planning, and regulatory oversight. (…) ‘PREPA has a compliance problem,’ the union said in its motion. ‘PREPA does not need an entity that comes to enact new rules. It needs an entity that enforces them.’”

Source: Caribbean Business

The question of privatizing state-owned refineries is a central dividing line in the elections 2019

The Financial Times reports that the question of privatizing state-owned refineries was a central dividing line in the 16 February election of the President, Vice President and National Assembly. The incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari’s “focus is state-led growth and his plan is to form public-private partnerships to revive the refineries.” Atiku Abubakar, his main rival, “plans to sell off the refineries. The 72-year-old made his fortune in the oil and gas business before leading the country’s patchy privatisation drive as vice-president in the 2000s.”

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Mexican president: Energy regulator has conflict of interest

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has accused previous governments of “striving to twist the neck of the goose that lays the golden egg” for betting on the privatization of Pemex and the CFE, instead of strengthening them. He pledged to ensure that there is no more corruption and privatization. “We want there to be business for the private sector, but that also benefits the public sector, business for the nation,” [CE NoticiasFinancieras, 18 February 2019]. Lopez Obrador says Mexico's independent Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) has a conflict of interest and has called on its head, Guillermo Garcia Alcocer, to resign. He says some officials were “subordinate to a policy of privatization, and maintained relationships with individuals who benefited from contracts in both the Federal Electricity Commission and Petroleos Mexicanos.”

Source: www.efe.com

Leading World Banks expressed interest in huge privatisation deals in Pakistan

Major global banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., CLSA and Credit Suisse Group AG, are poised to move in on the privatization of two state-owned LNG-fired power plants. “Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc made their separate proposals, while Lazard Ltd. is pitching with Pakistani brokerage house. Pak Brunei Investment Co. is also pitching for a role on the power plant divestment. The government sources said it aims to complete the privatization of the power plants in the financial year ending on June 30.” The sale would be Pakistan’s largest privatization deal since 2006.

Source: Times of Islamabad

COSATU led a national strike against job losses and privatisation

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) led a 13 February national strike, saying “when the workers demanded a strike against job losses and privatisation, the Central Executive Committee obliged.” Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi, who led the march in Durban, said “we should agree with the ANC government that you can unbundle Eskom if you want, but there should be no job losses, no electricity cost increases and no privatisation.” [Pretoria News, 14 February 2019]

Source: www.cosatu.org.za

The National Union of Metalworkers has criticised the spliting of the Escom

The National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) has criticised the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his state of the nation address that power utility Eskom would be split into three state-owned entities. “‘This is nothing more than privatisation through the back door and we reject it,’ NUMSA general secretary Irvin Jim said in a statement. ‘Only an Eskom which is completely owned and controlled by the state is the best guarantee for cheap electricity. ‘History has shown us that once the private sector is allowed to step in, prices increase and massive job shedding is inevitable,’ Jim said.” President Ramaphosa says “there are sound, valid and compelling reasons to separate Eskom into different entities. It is not a path to privatisation, as the Hon Malema will have us believe.”

Source: www.timeslive.co.za

The Nigeria Labour Congress will resist any attempt to privatize the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) will resist any attempt to sell the nation’s refineries or privatize the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba emphasized that “since the privatization of electricity distribution, Nigerians are yet to see the fulfilment of promises of efficient service delivery. Instead, the electricity situation has gone worse with chronic failures by DISCOs to supply prepaid meters, exploitation of Nigerians through estimated billings and reluctance to attend to basic complaints.

Source: The Nation Nigeria