Public enterprises, like in other countries, were established with good intentions for the welfare of the people. The overriding reasons for creating public enterprises in Nigeria were to:
- Make up for a shortage of local capital for expansion and technological improvements;
- Ensure government control of “commanding heights” to prevent elites from prospering at the expense of Nigerians;
- Correct the market failure resulting from public monopoly and misallocation of public resources;
- Facilitate regional development through government-planned and controlled location of public enterprises and their branches;
- Create jobs; and,
- Ensure adequate provision of social services.