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Governors okay sale of government assets, concessioning to tackle recession


Minister of State, National Planning and Budget, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister, National Planning and Budget, Senator Udo Udoma and Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Minister of State, National Planning and Budget, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, Minister, National Planning and Budget, Senator Udo Udoma and Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

• Pass vote of confidence in Udoma, Adeosun

Governors of the 36 states have endorsed proposals of the Federal Government Economic Management Team (EMT) under President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the economic recession.

The governors, at the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday in Abuja, also gave backing to the Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma and his Ministry of Finance counterpart, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun for their policies, which they said are tailored to revive the economy.

The governors met with Vice President at the Presidential Villa to deliberate on the state of the economy where they endorsed Udoma and Adeosun barely a day after the leadership of the Senate called for re-assignment of the duo, citing incompetence and inability to manage the economy.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the NEC meeting, Governor of Kebbi State Atiku Bagudu Abubakar said those in attendance expressed support for the plans and proposals of the government to tackle recession.

“Council members expressed confidence in and unanimously commended the EMT, as well as the Budget and National Planning and Finance ministers for their presentations to the council, praising their efforts, competence and capabilities,” he said.

Governor Abubakar who was joined by his Oyo State counterpart, Abiola Ajimobi and the deputy governor of Ogun State during the briefing attributed the current economic predicament to the country’s dependence on single commodity, crude oil.

They noted that the collapse of oil price to less than $30 per barrel in Q1 2016 is another reason for the recession.

Highlights of the meeting which were later made available to reporters by the vice president’s media office indicate that the governors agreed that the economic challenge provides an opportunity to restructure and reset the economy.

The statement said that the EMT was working on a plan to inject funds into the economy through asset sales, advance payment for licence renewals, infrastructure concessioning and use of recovered funds to reduce funding gaps in the budget.

The NEC was also briefed on the balance in Excess Crude Account (ECA) which is now $2.453 billion as at September 20, 2016.

The meeting also discussed government’s target of N1billion fund for Public Private Partnership (PPP) on housing development and mortgage provision. The money is expected to deliver family housing priced from as low as N2.5 million up to N18 million delivered in a ready-to-occupy condition with essential services (water and power connected). The delivery target is 400,000 to 500,000 housing units per annum.

Adeosun reported to the council that N50 billion has so far been disbursed to state governments, and the facility is ongoing.

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  • Basil Ogbanufe

    YES, to asset sales (privatization). But it should be through the NSE (Nigeria Stock Exchange) by way of IPO (Initial Public Offer). This will make it possible for all Nigerians to participate and benefit.

    NO, to concessioning in any form or guise.

  • Elder (Dr.) Chukwuma Nwaonicha

    The sale of national assets is unpatriotic and evil because the previous privatization exercises only made few privileged
    individuals to appropriate national assets to the detriment of the general masses. This idea to sell the national assets portrays confusion in leadership: in tackling a host of economic, social, political, educational, health and attitudinal issues. I believe that Nigerian Leaders Kleptocracy over the years is still hurting the Nation – manifesting into recession. Mr. President and the stakeholders should employ those who are knowledgeable and those with ideas to urgently address these issues because the masses are starving to death. As I kowtow to our stakeholders in the Nation, I wish to inform them that the most dangerous trend in the world today is the growing awareness of the common man. Therefore, do the needful. Thank you.

  • vincentumenyiora

    Here we are again playing to the gallery – Shakespeare talked about Henry V – “Once more onto the bridge country men!” urging them to prepare for the battle of Agin Court! Recall that some of Nigerian Assets were disposed of under OBJ’s administration at a rediculous rates and I heard them talking about the possibility of the sale of the ‘National Theater’ at Igonmu Lagos perhaps to Lagos State, and you’re wondering who are the people going to buy them and at what price? Rather than supervise the Assets for the public as they should be the public is about to be conned and hoodwinked and we are talking about corruption and ‘change to begin from them’ in Nigeria! Britain, France, Germany and other European countries do not sell public Assets in the manner we go about it in Nigeria! We are saying why can’t they do what others did about these issue? We heard about the sale of the Speakers Resident years back involving Speaker Bankole and wife and, how he bought the Asset and rented it out to the government – all that am told has to do with DEMOCRACY in Nigeria but I termed it an act underpinned by ‘DEMOCRAZY’ instead! Nigeria – TAKU! TO HAVE BEEN TOLD TO RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA SO THAT WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD – FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO DEVELOP CAN DO SO AND OTHERS TO LEARN FROM THE HEALTHY COMPETITION – NOT THE KIND OF MUMBO-JOMBO GOING ON IN THE COUNTRY WITH YOUR LEADERS! And please consider to do that with my new political leadership solution, which has stakeholder and gender considerations advantages! May God help us in Nigeria, folks!

  • barriga bello

    With respect to all concerned – the governors and FG are looking in all places for solution, but the RIGHT PLACE.
    Many options are readily available to address the present situation than selling our National assets. For example in Lagos state LASMA, LCDA, LGC, and POLICE extort money from road users in the name of traffic fines. None of these funds is for the government cover. The administration of Gov. Akiwumi Ambode must as a matter of urgency educate the citizens which agency is mandated to collect traffic fines, how much, and who determines traffic violations. Millions of naira are collected daily by LCDA touts without reconciliation to the state IGR. Gov. Ambode, please beam your search light on these agencies.

  • AZZO

    Why wont the governors endorse sale of assets. Is it not the same governors who run to Abuja for bail outs? They must be thinking to themselves how to share the proceeds of the sale. The FG is now in short supply of funds with the staggering fall of the naira against the dollar, the price of crude now at $28/barrel for Nigeria against $40/barrel in the open market – just tell me why these governors will not endorse sale of assets? I have really never witnessed an administration so bankcrupt in economic policies all my life. Just what is the sale of assets meant to achieve? For temporary relief you sell a life time product – “a case of killing the goose that lays the golden egg”. So far, the only asset in the purview of the government to sell is the NLNG(liquefied Natural gas) and that is all. May be more will follow. (Aso rock too might just be in the list, who knows).This is even against advice of the world bank and very many other organisations involved in detailed economic policy research, development and implementation around the globe. Come back home, intellectual members of the house of assembly have voiced their opposition to this action and so also the CBN. Just what do we expect to achieve selling government assets? Whom are we expected to be selling these to? The Chinese, Americans or the British? This risk taking seriously defies logic and flies in the face of rationality and common sense. But anyways, perhaps there are some other things I do not know. I pray seriously with all my elements to be proved wrong and my views rubbished – Amen.

  • These governors are mentally lazy. They think of only today and nothing about tommorow and next generation. If NLNG ( which is the one they are targeting to sell) goes just to meet budget what happens next year and the year after if there is another shortfall? What will be sold then? Who are the people to buy? Of course they are the same people- beneficiaries of crony capitalism who bought the assets in the previous fraudulent privatisation exercise at rock-bottom prices.
    Isn’t it better to take a loan and use the proceeds of this company as collateral for some years rather than selling the future of unborn children. Politicians amaze me. It is so sad that the politicians of this nation are simply so crude, ignorant and intellectually deficient and unpatriotic.
    Let there be a referendum on this.

  • Lemmuel Odjay

    I agree that under the present economic situation such as Nigeria’s it is only logical to use what one has to get what one needs, rather than resorting to borrowing, which could be very expensive.

    My grouse is with the governors. I have never been comfortable with many of them because of their preference to sit down and do nothing other than paying the usual monthly visits to Abuja to collect their share of everybody’s money. It is common knowledge that if regular income falls short of meeting one’s expenditure, the wise thing to do could be to invest in other sectors of the economy. To do that, one would need to tighten the belt and radically plug unnecessary spendings.
    For example, if a governor, such as Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State or “Oremekunu” Peter Fayose of Ekiti State, could invest that “little” they collect from Abuja in more profitable ventures rather than resorting to splashing same on populist ego trips by which they seek cheap popularity, their could be more economic gains from such venture.

    During conditions such as ours, states (even local governments) should come together to harness resources as to grow their economies.
    For example, Governor Aregbesola could visit countries abroad who are in need of steady supplies of say, tomato, in the processed form. That “little” he gets from Abuja could be used to partner with Mallam Nasir el Rufai of Kaduna State to grow and cultivate the fruit en route to processing plants which could be owned and operated by the states and domiciled in either Kaduna or Osun or Lagos State, giving it’s proximity to the sea ports. If managed by a consortium of good managers, such venture is capable of generating dollar based revenues for the states concerned. It could take some waiting for things to start looking up, but if the indigenes of the states involved are carried along, they should be willing to persevere.
    This is what the Federal Government is trying to achieve. I hope state governors are going to emulate the FG in this regard.
    This is an example of what a responsible chief executive of a company or state or local government is mandated to accomplish and deliver in a capitalist economy, not sit down for “Abuja shares” before staff salaries could be paid…

    Next Week: WANTED: Joint States Chambers Of Commerce In Nigeria.

  • vincentumenyiora

    Is it not the same thing coming to effect Nigeria’s so called leadership psychology again – i.e. the canny machinations about Nigerian politics? First; was after the war they proposed ‘indiginization’ for Nigeria under which diabolic policy they urged all the possible Europeans that could have formed the ‘renaissance’ Nigeria wanted (needed) or had to leave the country only to end up with predators as Sen. Sani rightly averred, who had no knowledge of what they were to take over – like that monkey after it had finished the juicy drink in the cup you handed to it flung everything including your cup, into the bush! At the time they were aiming at a ‘Head start’ for their ethnic groups politically and economic and you wonder after all that where are they and we, today in Nigeria – everybody still struggling and the economic effect afflicting all including the leaders who thought then that they would be benefited above others! It is part reason for my observation about the psychology of the people, thus: Nigeria in a QUANDARY afflicting even those with PhD – they hardly can think far into the horizon/ future due to that encumbrances derived/ underpinned from both religion and cultures! And incidentally they have been given solutions to deal with these malaise for Nigeria and they are not thinking about the solutions rationally yet! In my new solution I urged them to agree on a new formula whereby Nigerians can be able to elect those who can comprehend what policies are on their own volition first before they call in advisers to muddle thing up for the people – what it appears we are witnessing in the present set up vis-a-vis from the composition of the Kitchen Cabinet!

    Looking critically at my contributions so far for Nigeria’s political and economic solutions you’ll probably agree that I was able to solve the major problems that early if they had followed the recommendations to the letter am told, but for that Nigerian factor! Otherwise as we write or debate issue, check on the website you’ll see where I suggested to the authorities need for TSA – common pool advantage, need the National orientation in exactly the manner the ‘Change begins with them’ was pronounced that early so as to curb the rate of corruption in the Polity! The big issue about Nigeria now that the children have all grown up and you have nothing to show for the huge and fantastic funds said to have been expended on their behalf is that the people managing the affairs are not even that foresighted so as to appear give or re-assuring to the people that things would be better! So the sale of Assets borders on that same conspiracy theory about Nigeria and they want to cash-in under the pretext the Buhari is a no nonsense man or leader – they should look up my solution to the vexed problem!

    You’re using my solution in the ‘Option A-4’ with the associated adjuncts to it and it is serving the purpose very well, I will keep saying it

  • vincentumenyiora

    Nigerians should reject the idea for such sales for adverse effects you had in the past exercises whereby the new proprietors no sooner they acquired the Assets, did not only fell short of the capacity and ability to manage such Assets but with the result that they all became grounded thereby stalled the numerous benefits derivable from such investments for Nigeria including giving employment for the people and revenues collectable! In most of the cases the interested parties did not have the financial capacity (muscles) such to pay for the Assets or to manage them and they had to go borrowing from the Banks to pay for the trnafers of ownership! In other words, they did not add values to the transactions in effect as was reported about the Speakers Residence in ABUJA, which was sold and soon after the Edifice was rented to the Federal government making the payment of the building the responsibility of the ordinary people in Nigeria – not only despicable but a diabolic thinking in Nigeria! What I think the proposers are aiming at to achieve is to hide under the euphoria that Buhari is the messiah that has come to rescue Nigeria’s image only to discover that they are working for themselves under the dubious subterfuge to transfer ownership of the national wealth to themselves also by hoodwink!

    If you’re familiar with American history after the civil war, it was exactly what happened in that country – those who have the advantage of Nigeria’s ‘Oil Blocks’ will now organize themselves to buy up the common assets/ wealth of the people of Nigeria! The Europeans started with nationalizing such business concerns so as to check on the monopoly prevalent and collect revenues in their early histories and when they became so organised and the laws of the land to transact business became effective and properly entrenched in their societies they then thought about concessionaire of specific businesses like the railways and transportation! The danger is therefore there if you make the mistake and you become deceived by the gimmicks and if that mistake is made, that will be the Day in Nigeria!

    I know that the euphoria about the change of government/ administration is strong but think for a moment if we did not have the military interruption in that December 1983 coup, what might have become of Nigeria today with the kind of funds we are told have been expended or squandered so far by the leaders! My concern is about the consequences of a hasty decision about this matter for Nigerians as in the past examples!

  • vincentumenyiora

    See part reason why I use the phrase or expression – ‘Nigeria in a QUANDARY afflicting the PhD holders!’ Off all the claims or assertions for the ownership of ‘Option A-4’ and the adjuncts – the format for entries of number of votes polled by each candidate in elections, the finger or name reader machine, need for a ‘National Orientation’ programme and the (TSA), none of the Professors including the ones I named already have copies of my book, has decided as in academic ethics to make a statement disputing, condemning or accepting the claims – even the School of Int. and Strategic Studies in Kuru, has not said something in spite of the slogan: If you see something bad say something!! In total contrast to what happens in organised economies but. I am not perturbed unduly because very soon it’ll be a public matter for all to know where the solutions came from!