Privatisation can be defined as the transfer of Government owned shareholding in designated enterprises to private shareholders, comprising individuals and corporate bodies. 
While Commercialisation is the reorganisation of enterprises wholly or partly owned by the Federal Government in which such commercialised enterprises shall operate as profit making commercial ventures without any subvention from the Federal Government. 
Commercialisation may either be Full Commercialisation i.e. when Enterprises so designated will be expected to operate profitably on a commercial basis and be able to raise funds from the capital market without government guarantee. 
Such enterprises are expected to use private sector procedures in the running of their business or Partial Commercialisation where the enterprises so designated will be expected to generate enough revenue to cover their operating expenditures. Government may however consider them for capital grants to finance their capital intensive projects.

The National Council on Privatization (NCP) is a body created by the Nigerian government to determine the political, economic and social objectives of the privatization and commercialization of Nigeria’s public enterprises. 
The Privatization Act gives the National Council on Privatization (NCP) sufficient flexibility in deciding the appropriate method/strategy to be adopted in privatizing each enterprise. However, in choosing the strategy for each enterprise, the following are always taken into consideration: Government Policy, Opportunities and Constraints, and Nature of the enterprise.
Functions of the council include:
• To determine the political, economic and social objectives of privatization and commercialization of public enterprises.
• To approve policies on privatization and commercialization.
• To approve guidelines and criteria for valuation of public enterprises for privatization and choice of strategic investors.
• To approve the legal and regulatory framework for the public enterprises to be privatized.
• To determine the mode of sale of shares of a listed public enterprise and to advise the Federal Government accordingly.
• To approve the prices of shares or assets of the public enterprise to be offered for sale.
• To approve the appointment of privatization advisers and consultants and their remuneration.
• To appoint as and when necessary Committees comprising persons from both the public and private sectors with requisite technical competence to advise on the privatization or commercialization of specific public sector enterprises.
• To approve the budget of the Council.
• To approve the budget of the Bureau.
• To receive and consider for approval audited accounts of the Bureau.
• To receive and review periodic reports from the Bureau on programme implementation and give appropriate directions.
In order to effectively carry out its mandate, the NCP has established a number of committees to assist it in the management of the privatization process. The standing committees are: Technical Committee; Policy and Monitoring Committee; Publicity/Mobilisation & Transactions Marketing Committee; Finance Committee and the Legal Committee. 
However, in considering the strategy to adopt, priority is always given to the most economically and socially efficient option in order to maximize the benefits accruable to the government, the citizens, as well as the economy as a whole. The following strategies are used in the privatization exercise:
a) private placement
b) asset sale
c) equity sale
d) public offer for sale of shares
e) management buy out (mbo)
f) guided” liquidation
g) concession
The Bureau of Public Enterprises is the secretariat of the National Council on Privatisation. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), under the general guidance of the National council on Privatization (NCP) oversees the privatization programs. The BPE also assist organizations in the stock exchange to determine fair price for each public issue. Other functions include:
• Implementation of the NCP policies on privatisation and commercialisation.
• Preparation of public enterprises approved by the NCP for privatisation and commercialisation.
• Advising the NPC on further public enterprises which may be privatised or commercialised
• Advising the NPC on the capital restructuring needs of Nigerian public enterprises to be privatised
• Account management for all commercialised enterprises for financial discipline
• Vetting candidates for appointments as: Consultants, advisers, investment bankers, issuing houses stockbrokers, Solicitors, trustees, accountants and other professionals required for the purpose of either privatisation or commercialisation
• Management of post transactional performance monitoring and evaluation
• To minimise economic inequalities by promoting public welfare activities.
• to promote balanced regional development by developing industries in every
Follow @BPENigeria on twitter for more information on BPE activities.

Adedunmade Onibokun Esq.