Why Buhari should not sell national asset– Senator

Senator Rilwan Akanbi

Photo: Islanders Magazine
Senator Rilwan Akanbi Photo: Islanders Magazine

The senator representing Oyo South, Rilwan Akanbi, has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against selling national assets to help the country out of recession.

Nigerian billionaire, richest man, Aliko Dangote, recently suggested that it made more economic sense to sell off the country’s asset like the multi-billion dollar Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Joint Ventures, and use the proceeds to help the economy out of recession.

The proposal has been backed by Senate President Bukola Saraki and the National Economic Council which comprises state governors, the Vice President as the Chairman, Central Bank Governor, Finance Minister and others.

But many Nigerians have risen against the plan.

Mr. Akanbi told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday that the asset may be undervalued if sold at desperate times.

“The assets will end up with the capitalists who actually don’t have the resources. They will then run to banks to take deposits of ordinary Nigerians to buy assets which originally belong to them, the ordinary Nigerians. So what you have eventually is a situation where Nigerians are exploited through banks and also dispossesed of publicly owned assets.

“Apart from the economic dimension, national assets are instruments of unity in a country that is plural like ours. Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa, Ijaw and all other groups have the consciousness that national investments unite us and that gains or otherwise therefrom are nationally shared,” the Senator said.

He added that privatisation in Nigeria has been “a big failure because it has always been a process of letting few persons who lack the required wherewithal – but are well positioned and have access to power and money deposited by Nigerians – benefit from artificial misery or crisis in various sectors. We must not take that route again.”

He said there were “other ways” through which the government could raise money and bring the country out of recession.

One alternative, according to Mr. Akanbi, is to give special support to SMEs and others in the micro economy through access to low-interest loans.

He also urged greater investment in agriculture.

“We need the state of Nigeria to lead the development process by deliberately linking agriculture with industrialization and support farmers so that we can attain self-reliance in food production. Spending billions of dollars on food importation is not sustainable; we must therefore produce what we eat by ensuring crops are not just brought of the ground but also converted to food.”

He said Nigeria should increase tarrif on imported food and improve quality of ones produced locally.

Mr. Akanbi said, “it is now imperative for all public office holders across the organs of government to make sacrifice and be set for pay cut. We must reduce cost of governance and cut wastes so that the government can have money to work for the people and the development of the country”.

He also urged state governments to implement terms of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan designed for them by the federal government, saying that “improved governance that is people and development-focused at sub-national levels is crucial for a lasting solution to our woes.”


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  • Eddie O. T

    President Buhari can’t be serious in his silliness because the next obvious
    option is to sell Nigeria’s strategic oil and gas assets to foreigners. Such a
    daft step will then surpass the buffoonery of General Olusegun Obasanjo; who
    with usual ignorance, sold off the national phone line (NITEL) which collapsed
    since then, to make Nigeria the only country of its size without a national
    phone carrier and one now solely dependent on foreign-owned mobile phones.
    Unless President Buhari is stopped in his own tracks the very same ignorance
    of General Obasanjo will soon be repeated but to more deadly effect.

    • Mathew Anini


      President Muhamadu Buhari has borrowed 2.2 trillion Naira debt since he
      resumed office. The Punch newspaper is reporting this news today from the DEBT
      OFFICE. With this borrow-and-spend mentality of President Muhamadu Buhari, it
      is clear to me that Nigeria is in trouble and President Buhari is a clear and
      present danger to Nigeria’s finances.

      As at today one million Naira is worth only $2,200. That is red signal
      to international trade for Nigerians. With more reckless borrowing by President
      Buhari the Naira might depreciate to one thousand dollars to one million Naira.

      That stage is not too far away and will kick in once President Buhari is
      allowed to sell of income-generating assets like NNPC and the Liquefied Natural
      Gas company. A sale of those income assets will reduce Nigeria’s ability to pay off
      the 20 billion dollars Buhari wants to borrow again before or by December 2016.

      • okpada

        Have you tell every body in thus forum how much of that money was used to pay debts incurred by the previous administrations. How many contractors who executed jobs that were not paid since 2012? So you worked and not paid. Did even bother on how these debts were incurred? Let us waive aside sentiments and face the Nigeria project squarely.

        • pagwuman


          FOR GOD SAKE let all the people who go for briefing from APC LAI MUHAMED
          before coming here to post be honest to confess that they are paid
          agents, so that we can know who we are talking to here. You post and the
          Punch interview of Lai Muhammed today are almost reading word for word,
          like the same thing.

    • Short & Sharp



      • dele20

        Says who? You are absolutely wrong

  • Nazerine

    Nigeria is being raped and only God will rescue her.They stole oil blocks from Nigerians. Now they want to steal the remaining Nigerian assets. It started with Emergency Powers that will allow the President to sell national assets, next Aliko Dangote advised Buhari to sell national assets for recession to end , next legislators of Northern origin started campaigning for the sell of Nigerian assets. The game plan is working for them. That is CHANGE you voted for. I blame MAJORITY of the Yorubas who supported and voted for Buhari.

  • Man_Enough

    Funny! They cry; “we are hungry, pump money into the economy” but block all moves to do just that. Buhari wants to sell oil, bombers block him, he wants to borrow they bemoan, he wants to sell some of what we have to get what we need they resist, he wants to recover our money from thieves,they wail.

  • Mama Kay

    I pray God allows Buhari to have good advisers and not evil ones who usually mislead our rulers.

    No man is an epitome of wisdom but with good advisers and help of God, man can get it right.