The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, on Tuesday, September 20, faulted the Senate President, Bukola Saraki’s calls to sell the country’s national assets, describing his agitation as selfish, and aimed at further milking Nigeria dry.
It could be recalled, that Saraki had on Tuesday, recommended the sale of Nigeria’s assets, as part of solutions to take the country out of recession.
Post-Nigeria, gathered that Saraki’s statement is coming at a time when Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, had also called for the sale of the national assets, such as the Nigeria’s Liquefied Gas, which according to him, can fetch the nation over $15 billion, which is capable of bouncing the nation’s economy back to life.
Saraki said,”The Executive must immediately put in place a leadership-level engagement platform with the private sector.
“This must be one that is pro-business, and shows unequivocally that the government is ready to partner with the private sector towards economic revival.
“This is a critical signpost towards market confidence, which is a key ingredient to help us revamp the economy out of recession.
”The Executive must raise capital from asset sales and other sources, to shore up the foreign reserves. This will calm investors, discourage currency speculation, and stabilise the economy.
“The measures should include: part sale of the NLNG Limited; reduction of government’s shares in upstream oil joint venture operations; sale of government’s stake in financial institutions, e.g. Africa Finance Corporation; and the privatisation and concession of major/regional airports and refineries,” Saraki said.
In reaction, the NLC and the TUC, described the call as a huge joke, insisting that it is a ploy by the Legislature, to concession national assets among themselves, thereby, using such means to further impoverish Nigerians.
The NLC General-Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said, “Selling national assets is not going to cure the economy.
“Part of the crisis we are in, is as a result of the national assets they distributed to themselves.
“They should not use the economic situation as a pretext for looting what is left of the public assets. Selling the NLNG, airports and all those other assets, will not be the way to bail out the economy from this crisis.
“It will rather compound it, as has been demonstrated by what they did with power, and other assets.
“We are opposed to the sale of those assets, because they just want to take them over the way they have taken over the power sector, and it is not functioning.
“So, that cannot be the excuse. We are opposed to it. What we will do if they go ahead, is a matter that we will discuss at that point in time,” the NLC noted.
Also, the President, TUC, Mr. Bala Kaigama, said, “Well, I don’t know what they mean by that, because these are very vital national assets.
“Are they saying that as soon as we sell these assets, we will be out of recession?
“Otherwise, why don’t we work out a plan that will get the economy out of recession, and not this kind of fire brigade approach? Obviously, that is what it is going to head to, because they will sell them to their cronies. The TUC is not in support of this,” Kiagama noted.
He added further, that “Rather than sell the assets, the Federal Government should borrow from the International Monetary Fund, according to the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission”.
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Reviewed by Link Naija