President Muhammadu Buhari has been told by the Senate to sell off some of Nigeria’s national assets if the country must overcome recession.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has recommended the sale of some national assets to get the country out of its current recession. He said this during his welcome address to Senators at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday.
He said, “The Executive must raise capital from asset sales and other sources to shore up foreign reserves. This will calm investors, discourage currency speculation and stabilise the economy.
“The measures should include part sale of NLNG Holdings; reduction of government share in upstream oil joint venture operation; government stake in financial institutions, e.g, African Finance Cooperation; and the privatisation and concessions of major/regional airports and refineries.”
Also, he advised the Federal Government to immediately engage in meaningful dialogue with those aggrieved in the Niger Delta to forestall further destruction of oil pipelines in the region.
It would be recalled that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote recently advised the Federal Government to sell some national assets, instead of borrowing to get the country out of the recession.
He said this in an interview with CNBC Africa, the billionaire said: “The only way for us to get out of this recession is to make sure we move into action quickly; action by diversifying the economy quickly. “If I had challenges in my company, I would not hesitate to sell assets, to remain afloat, to get to the better times, because it doesn’t make any sense for me to keep any assets and then suffocate the whole organisation.
“What we need to do now in my own thinking… we have a lot of assets to sell. We can sell part of the joint venture; part of the shares. You know government normally owns 60 percent.
“We can sell in an open tender be it Chinese. We can change the term and make it an operating one, just like what we have in NLNG. We also have another asset I think we don’t really need.
“The African finance corporation; it can fetch them $800million easily. My own suggestion before was that they should even sell 100 percent of NLNG. I don’t think government should be in any business of investing in sectors of LNG.
“A company like that, with earnings of $1.5 billion on the average, they should get anywhere between $12 billion and $15 billion.”