The federal government yesterday sternly warned that it would revoke non-performing coal licences.
The National Council on Privatisation held a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, where the warning was issued to those holding coal blocks.
Those at the meeting were Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Muhammed Sada; Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo; Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise, Benjamin Dikki; and the Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Isah Onobere.
Briefing State House correspondents shortly after the meeting, minister of power noted that those who had coal licenses had not performed optimally, as coal was still in short supply for power generation.
“Council today decided to do something to ensure that those holding coal licenses, like land speculators, give way. They cannot be holding the licences while we are searching for coal. Those who do not want to immediately produce coal should have their licences withdrawn,” Nebo averred.
Also speaking at the briefing, Sada announced a deadline of one month for those having the licences to give reasons why their licenses should not be revoked.
On his part, Dikki faulted importation of coal that abounds in the country, saying the development was unacceptable.
He challenged those involved to commence coal mining, with a view to boosting the economy of the country, as well as creating jobs
Commenting on Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Sada said Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would soon be signed by parties involved.
A deadline to that effect, according to him, had been handed out by Sambo.
He stressed that all the pitfalls of the past on the steel company were being effectively addressed. The minister told journalists that Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had been directed by the vice president to take a critical look at the outstanding knotty welfare issues of privatised companies.
On the controversy trailing Enugu and Aba power firms, Minister of Power said efforts are being made to address it.
Dikki also expressed council’s satisfaction on NITEL/MTEL which had been liquidated and taken over by liquidator.