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Senate panel faults plan to sell, concession national assets

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
18 November 2020   |   4:17 am
The Senate Committee on Privatization yesterday faulted plan to sell and concession national assets to fund the 2021 budget. Speaking on the plan by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the committee chairman, Theodore Orji....

The Senate Committee on Privatization yesterday faulted plan to sell and concession national assets to fund the 2021 budget. Speaking on the plan by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the committee chairman, Theodore Orji, said that his panel was not aware of such decision. He said the panel would ascertain whether due processes were followed in the arrangement.

“The position of the Senate Committee on Privatization is that we are not aware of the arrangement by the BPE to either concession or put for outright sale some national assets in the country in order to fund the 2021 federal budget.

“I believe that the committee should be carried along when most of the arrangement to either sell or concession our national assets are being made. There is no member of the panel that knows about all these things except they read about them on the pages of newspapers. We were never briefed by the BPE. We were not there when the necessary documents were signed. We were never invited at all,” he said.

According to Orji, the committee will carry out its functions by summoning the director general of the BPE and demand for all the documents relating to the entire transactions.

“We would ascertain whether due processes were followed. We would also look at the amount that the BPE put up the assets for either outright sale or concession. We would scrutinise the papers to see whether they are fair or ridiculous amounts because what Nigeria as a nation needs now is money.”

The panel said it was worried about a situation whereby the assets would be sold to people who would not be capable of handling them.

“A good example is the situation we are experiencing with the paper mills. None of them is working again today because I don’t think the people who bought them are capable. If Nigerians who are capable of managing our national assets are interested, let us sell to them at a reasonable price so that nobody would feel cheated.” the Senate said.

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