Recession: Obasanjo backs sale of NNPC, other national asset

Olusegun Obasanjo

Photo: Atom Lim
Olusegun Obasanjo Photo: Atom Lim

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday threw his weight behind the proposed sale of some national assets to aide speedy economic recovery.

The former president, who addressed the National Council of Finance and Economic Development conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State, however cautioned against the asset being sold to dubious people.

‎”Selling national asset during recession time like this is not a bad thing,” Mr. Obasanjo said. “Government should sell 49 per cent of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).”

He called for the reorganisation of the oil and gas sector.

Mr. Obasanjo urged the government to be clear on what it plans to do, and that the process of selling the asset should be transparent, to ensure every willing Nigerian has access to the asset.

The plan to sell national asset has been widely criticised by many Nigerians.

Former central bank governor, Chukwuma Soludo, said it would be a “historic mistake” if asset such as NLNG are sold now.

“I see no reason why 49 per cent of NNPC cannot be privatised,” Mr. Obasanjo. “Don’t give it‎ out to cabals, friends, relations, kin and kith. Let it go public, so that even my driver can buy 10 per cent of NNPC. There should be a limit to the share any individual or corporate organisations can buy. There is nothing wrong in that. The NNPC will then be run as NLNG was run,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

“The NLNG is doing wonderfully well. NNPC was doing very well‎ until we started running it not the way it should be run. If it can be run this way in the past, who says it cannot be run that same way in future. We must prevent reoccurrence.

“Many people thought selling was a bad thing, no. You are reorganising the sector. That is all it is. You’re reorganising the sector. You talk of asset that are not doing well. No! If you have to earn money to get yourself out of the situation you are in, you can even sell good asset. You can, the only thing is how do you sell it?

On ways out of the current economic recession, Mr. Obasanjo said the government should spend less, earn more and borrow money to salvage the country from going under.

He said the government must focus on massive agricultural production and stop importation of goods that could be produced locally.

“If you are spending more than you are earning, there are only three solutions.‎ One, you spend less; two, you earn more; three, you borrow in the hope you’d pay back,” he said.


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  • Höly Wähala

    Obasanjo should first account for the proceeds he and Atiku sold during their public spat about who stole more and, to whom did they sell our national assets? I bet they were bought up by their cronies and front-men. This is typical Yoro old crook angling for more of what he left behind at our Aso Villa. Olu Obasanjo gave us Kalamity Kemi who led Nigeria into this economic gaugmire, the Ota Gorilla owes Nigerians first, an apology for yet another horrendous imposition from evil frail tribalistic mind, then, call on re-structuring of this inept Economic Mgmt Team because money left in the hands of a mugu remains… Minus-in-Progress! Kalamity Kemi et al, are not going to efficiently manage whatever is given to them whether na borrow-borrow from China ati India or, na still gbese from the World Bank ati IMF. Tief Olusegun Obasanjo should suggest other ways forward but biko… Nigerians say “Mba” to frivolous sale of our collective patrimomy, shikena! Awon Ole Jati-Jati… Baba Ota!

    • Commentsfile..!!!

      i really wish you have an unbiased mind to
      see or notice that most Nigerians dont have
      that time and the comfort you have on your hands to
      bash everything around you because of some ethnic
      hatred as you have decided not to be heard in any
      positive way.. i really dont know where you
      stand when it comes to issues concerning Nigeria.
      what are your Suggestion when it comes to restoring
      the Nigeria´s economy? plz Keep it educational bro..

      • Dele Awogbeoba

        The man is not an intellectual and never was. His stock in trade is beer palour gist/yapping. Reasoned opinions is making things way to intellectual for him.

        • Höly Wähala

          Yet, you had to gain notoriety by latching-on to my comments at SaharaReporters and elsewhere with… “For Attention of Readers Only” right under each crisp analysis I made on national issues. You see nothing wrong with your bloated ethnic group but, everything wrong with anything/anyone Igbo… Bigoted, lying son of sango. I am smarter than everyone from your State of Origin remains my brag and boast to you, as certainly, you are a mere propaganda conman who writes and upvotes your comments… Fraudster! To you it’s all about useless upvotes and no senses. Comment on this PT article instead of hiding in the shadows looking for who will piggy-back your intellectually lazy ass. It was right here that I taught you about the MPC that sets the monetary policy at our CBN… Talk shit and I will refer this audience to that thread to judge between us who is more intellectually balanced. Tribalistic bastard! Yoro Monkey… Animal.

      • Höly Wähala

        Get rid of this inept EMT has been my call since that day Lady Lagarde of the IMF visited Nigeria after Kalamity Kemi submitted an N8trn Budget that was padded to high heavens… to understand my stance on issues is easy, “my beef is with thieves”, like Omo Sowore once said. I hate everyone who hates my ethnic Igbo group… and you can sue me for that. Shikena!

  • Burning Spear

    Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is one of the most illustrious and successful graduates of Nigeria’s Federal University of Corruption in Abuja. He was admitted into this University as a student in 1999 with less than five thousand naira in his account. He graduated a multi-billionaire in 2007. The PhD in Corruption he obtained from this University is not honoris causa. He earned it. That is why he Obasanjo is asking Buhari another mumu Military dictator with no brain to sell government owned properties—In China it is the public firms that are making profit for the government—not the private ones—-He has stolen so much he wants every property erected with funds for the oil wells to be sold top them selves–separation is the only way out

    • Höly Wähala

      @Deri… Brilliant Literature you coined right there mon, that’s what I like about ogogoro, it brings out the best in you. Respect! But remember, Baba Ota also gave Nigerians the most corrupt and mumuish President from our slimy waterways of Otuoke, “Dr. Dumbo” was also another illustrous and successful graduate of that same Federal University of Corruption… lest we forget, Dumbo came as Portharcourt-honored Drunkard (PhD) complete with an illiterate wife currently, “Awaiting Charges” as the most corrupt fat First Lady in our hallowed history of First Ladies… Lol. Odeku? I nor dey for Akpethesi abi na Sapele Water you soak yourself in this evening. Sha, yaya de?

    • Lanre

      Nothing good can ever come from Obasanjo. That is why Tinubu is running from pillar to post today.

  • Defence

    God punish you hypocrite, sale all the asset in yoruba/hausa/fulani land first

    • Olawale Akitan


  • Commentsfile..!!!

    Hahhahahaha… Nigerians will now be satisfied for applauding some of the economic saboteurs
    of the recent past and of present. Buhari have tried to avoid the “satanic loan” from the world bank
    and IMF by opting for loan attached to an infrastructural development from china as also putting the
    scarce resource of the country into work to restore the country but we decide to destroy our own
    economy not knowing we are destroying our future.. before world bank and IMF will lend you money,
    you as a country must part with those assets that is your lifeline. if Nigeria will Take that Satanic occult
    money they will be enslaved the more, people will realize very soon cos there will be more taxes coming
    up even in the banking sectors, those things people used to acquire so easily will require extra data exchange
    to be able to access them… Good morning fellow Nigerians!! IMF, WOrld Bank and the US federal reserve are
    Just the same Group of people that has been controlling the words wealth and will be the same people that
    will keep buying off world valuable assets so as to control how people live their lives. to control what you earn, how
    you spend it and also your debt tag! those who are living or once lived in the western world knows about this.
    Ohh God save Nigeria, I pray Nigerians will do everything Possible to avoid selling off their future away to the
    slave masters.

  • FreeNigeria

    If OBJ return some of the trillions he stole, we won’t have to sell our national assets. If OBJ did not compromise our democracy, brain dead Buhari will never be president of Nigeria. Old man OBJ, where’s the money from the National assets you sold to yourself and your friends?

  • Foreign Reel

    Quack Economist OBASANJO: This is your life…

    “We have received several complaints about this OBASANJO charity and issues including
    alleged conflicts of interest and alleged financial misconduct. We currently have an open case
    in relation to this OBASANJO FOUNDATION and have been in contact with the trustees.

    We have recently become aware of further information about potential wrong-doing
    at the OBASANJO FOUNDATION which is of regulatory concern to the commission
    and we are currently considering this new information. We cannot comment further
    while our case is live.”

    …….Sarah Hitchings

    (United Kingdom Charity Commission)

    [May 16th, 2015]

    • Dele Awogbeoba

      Nigeria was led by OBJ from 1976 -1979 and from 1999-2007. The performance of the economy under him stands the test of time.

      • Otunba T. B Payne


        Chief Olusegun Obasanjo can brag that a portion of his own driver’s salary could take Nigeria out
        of recession. This is what happens when financial criminals are not promptly arrested and brought
        to justice with life jail sentence. They will grow wings and begin to strut around spewing nonsense
        and believing themselves to be in sport. When 16 billion dollars just dis-appear under the guise of
        buying electricity supplies, and the thieves involved are not quickly arrested, this is the sort of thing
        that can happen afterwards.

        • Dele Awogbeoba

          Again, education and enlightenment is key. The 16 billion dollars was the accusation that emanated from the House of reps. The amount actually spent of electricity was 3 billion dollars and not 16 million dollars. Yar Adua’s special advisor on electricity later clarified that. We are all living witnesses to the policy of reversals carried out by Yar Adua. This left many assets bought by OBJ to be left in the sun and rotting. After 2 years of reversals then Yar Adua started to try to move forward with some of OBJ’s reforms.

      • FreeNigeria

        1979, OBJ laid bad foundation for Nigeria democracy and started how to steal our money overseas. 2007, he again destroyed our democracy which we’re still suffering now, and legalized corruption. In a sane society, OBJ will rot in jail where he truly deserve to be. Shameless old man

        • Dele Awogbeoba

          In what way did he do that? The 1979 constitution was a good document drafted by Nigeria’s best brains. The elections in 1979 reflected the will of the Nigerian people. That the politicians proved incompetent in giving effect to a good document cannot be blamed on OBJ. It is a testament to OBJ that the same 1979 constitution was adopted with minor changes by the 1999 constitution that we are now practicing. It is no coincidence that OBJ laid the foundation for the longest ever period of Nigerian democracy due to no small part to the retirement of politically focused army officers.

      • Ebora Owu


        Iyabo Obasanjo announced in newspaper interviews she’s disowned General
        Ousegun Obasanjo as a father for his gross irresponsibility. Nigerians should
        have then ostracized General Obasanjo from public space so that his type will
        not infect public morality, especially after his first son, Gbenga Obasanjo earlier
        filed affidavit on oath in court.

        Gbenga Obasanjo swore on oath that his father, General Obasanjo,
        had obscenely incestuous sex as a father in law with his (Gbenga) own wife.
        At that point the media should have drawn a line and written off General
        Obasanjo for life as a thing fit for forest habitation only.

        • Dele Awogbeoba

          I do not discuss gossip nor interfere in domestic family affairs that do not concern me. I presume you have nothing to add on matters of substance.

          • I dey hear

            “You are one of those petty people who think the progress and success of another
            takes from you; as you try to overshadow everyone around you, before you and after you.
            You are the prototypical “Mr. Know it all”. You’ve never said “I don’t know” on any topic, ever.

            Of course this means you surround yourself with idiots who will agree with you on anything,
            and need you for financial gain, and, you need them for your insatiable ego.

            You were the brain behind your 2006 third term debacle. It is therefore outrageous that you
            accuse the [then] current President (Jonathan) of a similar two-facedness that you yourself
            used against the people of the country. Your attitude is a reflection of the country. It is not
            certain which came first – your attitude seeping into the country’s psyche, or, the country
            accepting your irresponsible behavior for so long”

            …………Iyabo Obasanjo

            (Letter to my father, December 18, 2013)

    • Wole (Abeokuta, Ogun state)

      Premium Times,

      Please update us on progress of the London Metropolitan Police
      Investigation into money-laundering by the Obasanjo Foundation –
      used to assist criminals in public office in Africa to transfer stolen
      money into safe bank accounts in Europe after 10% commission
      is paid to the Obasanjo Foundation, chaired by General Olusegun
      Obasanjo, as filed in the London Police Complaints book.

    • Cosmas Anene

      I want to appeal to President Muhamadu Buhari to send a powerful delegation to the United Kingdom.
      This is a very serious case which has brought the biggest disgrace ever to federal republic of Nigeria.

      President Muhamadu Buhari should use his good office to appeal to British government not to arrest
      and jail Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo for this offence of stealing and money-laundering together.
      The British people have already disgraced Nigeria by telling the whole world this thing.

      The British government should not have exposed Obasanjo to the whole world as a thief like this.
      It is not good for Nigeria’s image. James Ibori has been inside prison for four years now in that
      same Britain. James Ibori did moneylaundering too, by taking stolen money inside Britain.

      If the British people now arrest Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo it will mean that a former governor
      of Nigeria and a former head of state of Nigeria will be inside the same prison cell in a foreign country
      for stealing. Haba! Is that a good image for Nigeria in the international community?

  • Dele Awogbeoba

    I have my doubts about incurring more debt. My view is that non profitable assets should be sold. NLNG and NNPC should be retained. NNPC should be ro-organized into a JV along the lines of NLNG which ensures it is more profitable and the FG just receives a massive passive income with no outlays. The size of the FG needs to be drastically reduced and the CBN has to pursue a more expansionary monetary policy.

    • Sword of Damocles

      Amen(to the NNPC suggestion)

    • Tola

      There is no way NNPC “will be re-organized into a JV along the line of NLNG” without a sale. The JV operator must have a stake and there must be bidding process and considerations for that stake to be relinquished. We must understand that some of the sales referred to implies relinquishing part of NNPC stake in some of the JVs to generate funds and at the same time free the JVs from encumbrance occasioned by govt owing the JVs billions in cash call arrears.

      • Dele Awogbeoba

        I fully agree with you. Relinquishing some controls (such as outright ownership) can be balanced with the less money actually used by the govt to pay NNPC salary and equipment upkeep. Additionally, it will cease to be the source of political corruption.

        • emmanuel

          Are the salaries paid from Federation Account? What negative impact does it have on the economy? Such Administrative cost come with tax payment by employee and does not constitute liquidity burden on the FG.
          Transorp has perpetually run at losses in years and the consequent corporate taxes are gone, The Discos and Gencos have been running at losses without real taxes paid, Dangote the one angling to buy Nigeria neither pay taxes or import duties, so you want a one-off revenue and we can all go to hell thereafter?
          na wa o!

          • Dele Awogbeoba

            The FG would still have a 49% stake in it and will be getting massive revenues from its operations. The Federal government will cease footing the salary costs of the organisation. Like NLNG, it will get share of profits, dividend payments without having to pay workers salaries and still get revenue from VAT and income tax.

          • emmanuel

            The stake holders would rather use transfer pricing like MTN and co to move part of their Gross profits abroad and end up declaring consistent losses.
            The previous NLNG savings was deployed by Buhari to take hold of the Governors, that money did not impact the economy positively.
            When the present Government delayed everything from appointments to budgets, those who knew less about economic working said we should be patient, but the consequent stoppage of the GDP coupled with obnoxious geared towards giving the APC fictitious image destroyed Nigeria.
            We all paying for the patience now and have no solution to the crises. Nigeria may not recover from this crises in 20 years. I am not a prophet of doom, but the fundamentals are clear.
            So much of bonds issued are falling due, contractors are not paid, newer debts secured, yet there are no solutions in sight.
            Oil prices are not rebounding in the next three years and newer producers are flooding the market followed by un willigness to buy crude from Nigeria.
            We are yet to secure global market for Agricultural products which also have its own politics – remember the Europe ban on West African beans?
            It is difficult to amend products with factory errors after production and that is what this government represent.
            The propagandas are never ending. Recall Kemi travelled to Europe to float EuroBond and secure FDI, but they sent her back. That was followed by propaganda of a successful outing. Where are the gains?
            By the end of first week of October, the US Dollar would be about N500.00 and we would keep blaming Jonathan.
            For all i know, there would be a conflagration soon and the sign are ominous.

  • K.Kessington


    This plot to sell
    Nigeria’s national assets to individuals looks like an evil conspiracy by
    the Nigerian-side civil war military officers (now in their 70s and close to
    their graves)
    ; to quickly scramble and divide Nigeria’s wealth up amongst
    themselves as gifts to be left behind in their will for their cocaine-sniffing
    children, friends and collaborators in large-scale stealing These same
    uneducated, crude and uncouth civil war military officers held Nigerians
    by the throat since 1970 as prisoners of war and solely decided who would
    be president, in rotation amongst themselves, when not selecting useful idiots
    as fill-gap presidents, just to make their colonization look much less heinous.

    • Dawood

      Baba Looter’s advice should be ignored. Naija don suffer. The ones that stole Nigeria blind are asking for more. If Buhari sells Nigeria’s assets, ordinary Nigerians should protest massively.

  • MC

    Obasanjo’s opinion is not sought, highly irresponsible and archaic etc. What he does daily is to create unnesesary controversy and divisive gestures. I keep wondering what makes the ancestor Obasanjo to imagine that his contribution counts. Someone who fucked his son’s wife, whose eldest daughter Iyabo disowned! Monkey!

  • musa aliero

    If we sell some of our assests to fund 2016 budget, and on top of that we are borrowing, what will we do in 2017, 2018, 2019 20…….? The picture is really scary! I fear that those who have looted our common patrimony and wealth will use the loot they stole from us and buy our assets! Just look at the calibre of people calling for this assests sale!!! First cbn gov, then dangote and others! People with enough to resources and protégés to buy all our assests! This will benefit them! And my problem is Nigeria likes to sell her assests cheaply! The houses that elrufai and obasanjo privatized were sold at 1/50th of its original costs! If we would sell, people should buy the assets at its real value! No give aways.

  • dami

    What is playing out is nigerian bad belle that we have for one another…if Abdulahi buys it we will complain…if Emeka buys it we will also complain…so also if Tunde buys it we will still complain- therefore the only real option is to call oyinbo man to buy it…that’s the only way we will all accept the sale of these assets..after all that is why NLNG is a success story…cos oyinbo man owns 51%….
    How ever I see nothing wrong with this…they will do a much better job of running these assets to create value than we are presently doing.



  • Watch man

    This was the guy that almost sold the whole Nigeria to himself and his fronts talking. How many strategic national, income-yielding assets were built since 1999? How many private entrepreneurs built assets of value in Nigeria despite all the stolen wealth? Why then would anyone think of selling one of the biggest LNGs’ in the world to Dangote or any “Shylock”? Mr Obasanjo should be thinking more productively by now or could it be senility setting in?

    • ed

      Don’t you wish they’re capable to listen and reason.

  • River-of-Life

    In everything give thanks……OBJ should be thanked for his idea and not attacked……..Judge not and you will not be judged. Attack not and you will be attacked. hate not and you will not be hated. when you love and speak well of people, they will also love you and speak well of you….Loving your neighbor as yourself….This is the divine LAW and no man can abrogate it. Whoever is trying to abrogate this law, is trying to REPLACE the Almighty Creator. Peace is gradually flying away from the earth because this LAW is not respected by the elites.

  • absam777

    Whom should the people believe? Economists or Politician/militicians? God help Nigeria!

    • Harry

      We don’t know who to believe again.

    • Mufu Ola

      No where in the world has economists agree on anything. Except the simplest theory in history- “demand & supply”.Overdemand results in scarcity & vice versa.That’s the only thing economists ever have common agreement.That’s why I chuckle when people talk of “economic expert”.My old mother is an economic expert also!

  • JasV

    I am not surprised considering how he surreptitiously and fraudulently sold out transcorp assets. Also, he has subconsciously showed me the extent of his greed and selfishness by thinking of his driver as the least qualified person in Nigeria that can buy the shares. If Obasanjo says yes to anything please DO NOT DO IT.

    • Mufu Ola

      He knows his driver inside out! Lol

  • henry

    When you see a man reacting to issues by abusing and cursing then that will tells you that the man is a nonentity.

  • Toughie Man

    OBJ has interest. Transcorp Hilton privatized and sold to OBJ. He knows what he is talking about.

  • Tunsj

    If President Buhari moves forward and sell national asset, then he is part of the corrupt elites and Nigerians will never forgive him. This is not what Nigerians voted for.