The move by the Federal Government to sell its controlling shares in Abuja Security and Commodity Exchange (ASCE) has received a boost as three corporate investors have indicated interest in the public enterprise.
The privatisation of the Exchange is, however, waiting for the approval of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for the interest shown to be concretised.
Yusuf Abdurrahim, chief executive officer of the Exchange, who confirmed this development, said that the privatisation of the entity is expected to fully commence when approval for the exercise is received from the BPE.
He disclosed that the presidency is aware of the interest shown by the three companies, assuring that with this development, management of the Exchange is expecting BPE to give approval soon.
Abdurrahim gave this hint while speaking to BusinessDay during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by Commodity Brokers Association of Nigeria (CBAN) held in the commercial city of Kano.
According to him, already the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the supervising agency for the sale of public enterprises, has granted approval for the privatisation of the Exchange.
“This on-going development is in line with efforts being made by the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and minister of trade and investment, Olusegun Aganga, to make the Exchange is functional.
“As you are aware, a World Bank team is involved in the privatisation process, and the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) has been chosen as a technical partner in the privatisation exercise”, he explained.
He stated that the bid to transform the Exchange to world class outfit through the privatisation initiative is expected to be completed next year.
Giving insight about the companies that indicated interest in the privatisation of the Exchange, Abdurrahim further disclosed that they are among those involved in operations of the Ethiopia and Rwanda’s ECXs.
“I can confidently tell you that the companies that have indicated interest in the privatisation of ASCE are among those that helped in transforming the Ethiopia and Rwanda Commodity Exchanges into one of the best in the world.