The government has achieved a consensus on the launch of a new phase of privatization, the Al Massae newspaper reported today.
The former economy minister, Mohamed Boussaid, defended the approach to ensure the withdrawal of the state from activities that private companies can manage, the newspaper added.
The aim is to make public institutions focus on its major functions and give the private sector a chance to take over certain sectors.
According to Al Massae, the National Railway Office (ONCF) and the Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA) may be privatized.
The government has implicitly pointed out its intention to privatize some public institutions. Boussaid explicitly referred to it when he said, “ONCF and ONDA could be converted into a joint-venture company to achieve greater transparency and governance, and this conversion will develop their services and business activity.”
The government has not yet revealed which companies it will privatize and turn into joint-venture companies.
Morocco has 210 public institutions: 20 commercial, 183 non-commercial, 3 financial, and 4 for social reserve.
The weekly newspaper Al Ousboue reported on July 5 that many Moroccan public economic institutions, particularly strategic companies, such as ONCF, ONDA, the Moroccan motorway operator (ADM) and the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE), are going bankrupt because they accumulated debt while earning low profits.
The decline in profits can be explained by the companies’ major structural projects: new train stations, airport expansions, and the construction of major water channels. They suffer from poor liquidity and accumulate debt they cannot afford, wrote Al Ousboue.
The story is similar to what happened to Maroc Telecom, the main telecommunication company in Morocco, 17 years ago. On February 20, 2001, the Moroccan government sold 35 percent of Maroc Telecom’s shares to French mass media company Vivendi.