The call for the sale of some of Nigeria’s national assets has generated diverse opinion from private business owners and government officials.
Some of the assets recommended for sale are:
1. Government shares in Joint Venture Companies (JVCs)
2. Government shares in Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG)
3. Some aircraft in the presidential fleet
4. Kaduna refinery
5. Warri refinery
6. Port Harcourt refinery
Four days ago, Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, joined the calls as he advised the government to embark on a wave of asset selling to boost Nigeria’s recession-hit economy.
Godwin Emefiele who is the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria also recommended the sale of the assets in this period the country is plagued by economic recession.
He had said: “In the short run, we can sell assets. Before the government came on board, I had opined that there was need for the government to scale down or sell off some of its investments in oil and gas, particularly in the NNPC and NLNG as at that time when the price of oil was around $50-$55 per barrel.
“We actually commissioned some consultants that conducted the study and, at the end of that study, we were told that if we sold 10% to 15% of our holding in the oil and gas sector, we could realise up to $40 billion.”
Femi Falana who is a popular human rights lawyer argued against the sale of the assets as a lot of people would be put out of work.
Reno Omokri who was the aide to former president, Goodluck Jonathan called on Buhari to do away with five things first before he sells the country’s assets.
Dear President Muhammadu Buhari,
Before you sell assets that belong to the people of Nigeria, sell assets that serve you and your family, like your (1) 10 Presidential jets, (2) your tens of luxurious cars and (3) your presidential guest houses in various states. (4) Next, abolish the 50% of annual basic salary that you and your vice receive as ‘hardship allowance’. What hardship do you go through? Tax payers pay for your accommodation, feeding, medicals, travel and security. It is the man on minimum wage that deserves ‘hardship allowance’, not you! (5) Also, direct your government to hands off sponsoring pilgrimage either directly or indirectly by giving them concessionary dollar rates that are denied to legitimate businessmen. A pilgrimage is a sacrifice. Once government pays for it, it ceases to be a sacrifices and becomes a luxury.