Monday, 3 October 2016

Governor Oshiomhole rejects sale of national assets, says 'we'll regret it'

Outgoing Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has condemned the plans by the Federal Government to sell the nation’s assets. He said Nigeria's national assets must not be sold  to raise money for a quick fix of the economy.

The government had, last week, indicated that it might resort to selling some of the nation's assets, especially in the oil and gas sector to ease the impact of the current economic crisis.

Speaking to Channels TV, Oshiomhole, who is a member of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), said the idea is offensive.

He said: "The word itself, selling assets is offensive. But I don’t know the difference between the so called asset selling and privatisation of state’s assets or privatisation of certain sectors where government is clearly inefficient and where it is believed that private sector’s involvement will be more efficient.

“But to talk of auctioning national assets, I don’t have all the details. I am not able to readily understand that but my own position is that we must not panic as a nation and resort to quick fix which over time we might regret.

“As you can see now, we wanted privatisation of power and the government went ahead to privatise the power in a hurried manner and end up transferring the DISCOS to incompetent hands and Nigeria is worse off today in terms of power stability relative to what it was when it was under the government’s control,"

The Governor advised the Buhari-led government to consider more workable options of rescuing Nigeria's economy without mortgaging its future.

Oshiomhole said: "My conclusion as a pragmatic is; don’t hurry, don’t rush into anything take your time to do your calculations and use words that are not offensive, improve on your communication and remove the discuss from jargon to ordinary language so that every Nigeria’s tax-payer, who is a stakeholder and shareholder of Nigeria incorporated, can understand what the issues are.

"We didn’t cause this problem, yet we have been voted to fix it and the task of fixing an economy in recession is not overnight".

The National Bureau of Statistics had in September officially announced that Nigeria's economy plunged into recession after its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 2.06 percent in the second quarter.

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