Recession: Nigeria insists on asset sales despite backlash

Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udoma Udo-Udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udoma Udo-Udoma

The primary objective of the Nigerian government’s fiscal stimulus plan is not about selling off all major national assets, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, has said.

He said the government was considering selling off some asset in a way that would be profitable to the country.

Mr. Udoma, who was briefing journalists in Lagos on Friday on the forthcoming Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), said the government’s intention was to raise immediate funding to reflate the economy and finance critical capital projects in the 2016 budget.

Estimates from recent ministerial retreat showed the government would need between $10 and $15 billion (about N4.72 trillion) to stimulate economic recovery.

The stimulus plan, Mr. Udoma said, was to help mobilise funding to make up for the shortfall in revenue to fund the over N6.06 trillion 2016 budget and stimulate economic growth.

“The intention of government is just to get enough money to fund the 2016 budget and get the economy back on the path of recovery,” he explained.

“Government needs to inject a large dose of funds into the system to get the economy back on track and to faithfully implement those provisions in the capital budget tailored at reflating the economy and aiding the diversification process,” he said.

He said stimulus plan would be realised through asset sales, advance payment for license rounds, infrastructure concessioning, use of recovered stolen funds, among others, to reduce the huge gap.

He did not provide any clue on what asset the government was considering selling. The proposal has drawn widespread criticism.

The minister said the economic team did not consider wise the option of additional borrowing and loans to fund the budget, in view of the unsustainable level of debt service.

The government, he said, was exploring several options in the asset sales proposal, including repurchasing of assets options, which includes provision for buy-back of those assets when the situation improves.

Acknowledging the hardship the economic downturn has brought on the people, Mr. Udoma assured that th government was committed to redressing the situation.

“Our goal is to unlock the economic potentials of the non-oil and high-employment generating sectors, to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, ensure majority of Nigerians become more productive, and reduce poverty,” he said.

He said the government was working deliberately to diversify the country’s economy by ensuring the non-oil sector became the main driver, contributing the most to the gross domestic product (GDP) and controlling the most employment.

He said getting the economy back on the path of sustainable growth would require the contribution of every sector and collaboration with key government groups like the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Such collaboration, he said, would provide avenue to forge a consensus on national development issues, while evolving a common strategy and policy framework for addressing constraints to national development.

This year’s edition of the Economic Summit, scheduled for October 10 and 12, would focus on need to encourage more production and consumption of made in Nigeria goods and services.


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  • REPOST 2016

    …….Excuse me my people…I no know book O…..i just want to give you my own idea……..
    since Raji Fashola cannot do anything good in his life….and supplies zero megawatts……
    …to put Nigeria in permanent darkness….why don’t we sell Raji Fashola to raise money…..
    …………and use it to pay a more sensible Minister that can take us out of this dark ages?……….
    That will be like privatization of government……but we don’t need to sell all the cabinet O………

    • Powerlessconscious

      So you are still in dark? He ya sorry.

  • Square Two


    Nobody can stop
    President Buhari from selling the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos if he is
    the owner. He can sell any airport as his private property, if he was given any
    airport under his father’s written will as gift. The right of a personal owner of a
    property to sell it cannot be questioned in a democracy by anybody. But
    President Buhari must then deposit the cash from the sale of NNPC
    or NNDP into his personal bank account.

  • bigbang

    Don’t sell or concession NLNG. NLNG is a success story. But the other assets that are not performing well should be concessioned .

    • Rumournaire

      My recommendation:
      1) Reduce FG stake in all oil Joint Ventures. At present, the Federal Government holds 55% in the NNPC/Shell/Total?ENI Join Venture, and 60% in NNPC/Chevron JV. The controlling share NNPC holds in these ventures gives NNPC the right to veto virtually anything – including operating JV assets. Sadly, NPDC that represents NNPC is largely incapable of operating the assets profitably. Let the government reduce its stake in these JVs to something like 30%. Then incorporate the JVs in a way similar to NLNG.

      2) Ask NUPENG/PENGASSAN to take over all 4 government-owned refineries and get partners to revamp them and make them profitable. Sell the refineries for the price of the land on which they stand – the facilities have paid their dues and have zero value in the books anyway. The idea here is that the FG would no longer have to put money into the refineries – which have been a drain pipe. Then the Unions who have always been up in arms against sale of the refineries can now own them – and make their living by operating them profitably.

      3) DO NOT even think of selling anything in NLNG. That indeed is a success story and one of the few cash cows for the government. It is well governed because it has its own Board, and it has a world-class technical leadership in Shell.

      • bigbang

        Not the right time to do that with low oil prices

        • Rumournaire

          In an ideal world, you are right. But when you are between the devil and the blue sea, you must make a choice. My suggestion is what experts have been advising the government to do for years. NNPC’s overbearing control of the JV’s has contributed much to the slow pace of project delivery in the sector. The so-called NNPC Board sits very few times a year and those are the only times major JV contracts can be awarded.

      • Powerlessconscious

        Your are right but not the right time for now.

        • Rumournaire

          When you are in a crisis, you do things at less-than-ideal times. Afren was forced to declare bankruptcy in August 2015 and commenced sale of its assets immediately – based on sub-$40 oil price.

  • Colonel Mariama

    Nigeria is about to b sold to cronies , and family members of those in control of the instruments of power.
    This is even worse than the indigenization which Awo engineered to benefit his people and his people alone. So they sell off assets to pay salaries and then what happens after that? Let us be rather circumspective here and move with extreme caution. Has the government considered alternative means of raising revenue than following this path of least resistance? I beg o make una open eye well, well o. Na rigima government be this, o kwami o.

  • emmanuel

    According to the lame duck, what Nigeria needs is N4.7 trillion, meanwhile both NNPC and NLNG alone generate tax of about N2.3 trillion yearly (half of what is needed today).
    If Dangote buys both, he will pay N4.7 trillion and by next year the N2.3 trillion expected tax will be lost forever, because Dangote is not known to pay Taxes and Customs duties – he would get his usual waivers and that would be it.
    Is it not therefore st***d to sell such asset and loss out both the Oil production revenue and the relevant taxes?
    Those who suggest the sale should face firing squad for their evils.

  • emmanuel

    If we sell the assets, what will generate revenue to pay up all the huge Bonds issued for about 20 years ahead and all Local and foreign loans?
    Please thread with caution

    • Powerlessconscious

      The govt has said in the past that toll gate in all the 37states will be restore for generation of funds. Lekki toll gate is one of the major strength of Lagos state.

      • emmanuel

        The person wen nor fit manage RefineRy go manage toolgate abi? Why did Liar go to BON to collect some months back? That is the same thing will kill the toll gate.
        Despite of the corruption in those sectors, the revenues is still big enough to run Nigeria – unbundle TSA for now, release money to contractors, pay outstanding contractors, allow for import of key machineries and raw materials and the system will pick up.
        If you like, sell all the assets and close your economy, when the proceeds of the sales finishes in weeks, the dooms day will set-in!

        • Powerlessconscious

          To be frank I don’t agree with your first two lines. What do you mean by ‘The person wen nor fit manage RefineRy go manage toolgate abi? Why did Liar go to BON to collect some months back?’ I THINK YOU SHOULD EXPLAIN. Is it Obama that is doing everything? Why do you always think that when the govt want to do something, it is the president that want to single handedly do it? Is that how it work in your thinking? Then why all personnels in govt? You need to reframe your statement so that you can always differentiate the action of govt from that of the president. If the SENATE innitiate something, is it the president that do it or the govt? If a ministry carry out her duty, is it the president that do it or the government? Mind you, Nigeria government is MORE MIGHTY than Lagos government. Therefore, if Lagos can successfully manage her toll gate, Nigeria government will do BETTER. Concerning the refinery, the government was successful but the EVIL CULT MILITANT could not allow us to count the success by blowing pipeline to make the refineries idle (not all). We have said it many times, a government can borrow Money to develop her country. It is a common practice in Europe and all developed country But A GOVERNMENT CAN NOT BORROW MONEY TO PAY WORJERS SALARIES or to IMPORT food that can be produce into the country JUST LIKE IN THE PAST. When you study governance very well and compare it to how develop nation practice it, then you will be able to understand the responsibilities of government. Concerning the asset, that is your personal opinion, what do you mean by doom day (talking tough). Though I don’t support it but you guys always think that your wish is what over 100milions will face. Na big lie. The doom day was ESCAPED in 2015 after PDP was kicked out of destroying Nigerians destiny through their MASSIVE LOOTING and FREE SHARING of govt fund among themselves. The current government has stated clearly in the article that the sales of the asset will have a buy back clause after some times when things are balance. So you don’t need to worry yourself. For the TSA, the government will surely release money into the economy to increase cash flow. God bless Nigeria.

  • vagabonds in power

    Senate president Bukola Saraki and other prominent Nigerians have come under severe attack from Senator Shehu Sani for supporting assets sale

    – Sani said on Friday, September 23 that all those calling for assets sale, including Saraki, Dangote and Sanusi are engaging in ‘heists and roguery’.

    – Sani calls for Nigerians to reject this kind of people because they are ‘economic parasites’ trying to milk the country in this recession

    Sanusi has attacked Saraki others over assets sale

    Senator representing Kaduna central Shehu Sani has declared that all those calling for the sale of national assets because of the economic recession are ‘economic predators’ carrying out ‘heists and roguery’.

  • IZON Redeemer

    Buhari Deliberately Crashed The Economy And Now Selling Nigerian High Income Generating Assets To His Election Sponsors And Friends.
    It is shocking that President Muhammadu Buhari whose lack of focus and incompetence plunged Nigeria into its second historical recession, has decided to sell off high performing and Income generating assets of the country to those that sponsored his 2015 electioneering campaign in the name of trying to spend himself out of the self inflicted recession.

    Buhari Intentionally Destroyed Nigerian Economy. For he wasted six months in office doing nothing and allowed Nigeria to be run on auto pilot, whilst looking for angels as Ministers. Nigerians from all walks of life warned Buhari that his inaction and later his “adam and eve” policies would affect the economy in unprintable ways, but he acted less concerned.
    Nigeria went into recession as a result of a LIQUIDITY CRUNCH brought on by Buhari in a bid to fight what he called Corruption against his perceived enemies and the opposition. He was strongly advised the implications of implementing TSA 100% from a start, he snubbed the advise and never bothered to read the handover notes that detailed why the TSA was implemented in phases.
    It should be noted that when Obasanjo took over from the military, Nigerian foreign reserves were $3.7B. At that point oil was sold at $16, yet Nigeria didn’t go into recession neither did Obasanjo wasted his 8 years blaming the military looting of the treasury or meeting virtually empty treasury.

    Buhari’s government grounded the amnesty program for the Niger Delta militants. Designed to ensure peace in the region and allow free flow of oil, without putting alternatives in place leading to a new phase of struggle and unrest by the militants who are owed months of their stipend. Not only that he went after Tompolo for reasons best known to hi and the Apes in APC.

  • NinjaK

    Armed Robbers!
    They made so much noise when presenting the budget, that their budget was the best budget ever presented to Nigerians since the advent of corned beef, but all na lie. Na one excuse after the other since, despite the fact that these asses had “ALL THE SOLUTIONS” to Nigeria’s problems BEFORE the elections!!!
    Now they want to start selling off the remaining & juiciest “national heirlooms”. Chei, by the time they selloff these remaining massive assets, and the money ends up being squandered as usual by the hungry Ministers and New PermSecs & Directors, then we shall see what else Nigeria will live on. By then even Togo will have a better economy than us!

    • Powerlessconscious

      I don’t support selling the asset but the money can not be squandered like you think. It is more better to quickly raise toll gate for generation of fund.

  • Otile

    Wayyo Allah. Fulani rogues have planted their son Buhari to liquidate Nigeria. As if Dangote’s monopoly is not enough, Buhari is now demanding emergency powers to sell off Nigeria to his people. Why can’t we divide so that they sell off their Northern assets to help themselves, must we should sink with them? Seeing what was in the works reasonable people refused to vote for this roguish armed man. Only fo○ls can fail to recognize that those who voted for this imp make a horrible mistake. From on bungle to another, eh.

  • ekaorunk


  • Oracle

    Selling of Nigerian assets to fund the 2016 budget in the year end? Tell us what happens in years beyond!!

    Are these assets not productive anymore. It’s just like a broke artisan selling off his workshop with the tools in it to raise more money to remain in the business.

    Having sold off the assets, what will be the impact of such action on employment, local contents, etc?

    Nigeria is at a critical crossroad in her entire history. If we didn’t get it right or make the right turn at this point, what will be the hope of recovery?

    Greece, in it recession, was offered the same advice by her lenders: to sell off some of her several Islands… but refused. Checkout Greece today.

    If Coming out of recession is a gradual process, as we see it happen worldwide, why not look for other options? E.g, restructuring the Nation: giving the states more power over its resources; making Nigeria more business friendly; reconsideration of multiple taxations sniffing life out of the MSME biz.; what about the interest rates?


    We don’t have to sell to pay debts and bonds of 20 years to come.


    Nothing is wrong with borrowing, if it will be judiciously and prudently applied to the economy.

    • Man_Enough

      Great analysis. However I remember the new year gift by the last administration when the price of fuel was suddenly jerked up Skyrocketing transport fares after people had spent all their resources on the festivities. Many people sold their handsets to enable them get back to work and business. When business picked up and employers started paying they bought better phones.

  • Man_Enough

    But this is not the first time government is selling assets. In fact it had hitherto been been a popular recommendation by armchair advicers. They would say “government cannot manage enterprises; they are better in the hands of private investors, bla bla.” The last government sold NEPA and refineries (although that of refinery was later aborted). Is it not instructive seeing the volume of dissenting voices being raised against this innocent intention? Isn’t this even the most appropriate time? They block every move by this government to raise money (including external borrowing) but stand aloof and wail about recession.

  • Oracle

    l think Nigeria is too big and too complex for our rulers to lead.

    I think we should try another colonization by China.

    If you see a circular building being erected, the only possibility is the: the plan is that theffoundation is circular, and the plan is undisputably circular.

    The Nigeria’s structure as it is today emanates from it’s foundation- hence the plan. We cant draw a circle as a plan, dig a circle as a foundation, and expect a square as a finished structure.

    I have always heard our leaders say: “LET’S MAKE NIGERIA GREAT AGAIN”!

    now the questions are:
    1) has Nigeria ever been great?
    2) at what point in her history?
    3) how great was Nigeria?
    4) what/who made her great?
    5) did our colonial masters know how to do it better?
    6) was our independence too early? Or too late?
    7) If we have had our independence about the time Mandela was released, will Nigeria still be whers she is today?
    8) is Africa really the dark continent?
    10) Is the colour our skin the col our of our hearts and brains
    12) When is the blessing defined to be a curse in a nation like ours?

  • UOU

    Evil govt/people! they are already sold their conscience to satan, next is the national assets, right? next would be their supporters(so all hailers get prepared to be sold off to BH) but before they would sell everyother person(s) they must meet their waterloo

  • emmanuel anizoba

    Commonsense dictates that non-performing assets be disposed of, because we waste the scarce resources that we pump into such assets to keep them afloat in the name of some ill-defined national interest. Such assets have fuelled the endemic corruption and rot that bedevil us today. The huge sums lost to paid for but unexecuted Turn-Around-Maintenance of our refineries are there to justify the wisdom of selling the refineries without delay. Cheers!

    • OmoLasgidi

      100% on point!

    • emmanuel

      It is better to stop to exist, if you cannot fight corruption justly to get the MDAs working.
      Who is fooling who, they want to float National Air carrier and Shipping line, so why would the viable assets get sold?
      The yearly returns and tax on NLNG is over $2.2 billion, when added to the Refineries and the Country’s share in the various JVPs in a year and half will reap $15 billion

    • emmanuel

      mallam pele o!

  • “….the government was considering selling off some asset in a way that would be profitable to the country.”….Udoma Udoma, Budget Minister said.
    INTERPRETATION: Buhari and his APC cronies are spoiling to loot Nigerian commonwealth.

  • Rommel

    In the end, what Nigerians want is affordable gas for commercial power generations,domestic use and employment,it does not matter who own what

  • Imiava Tendency

    Rommel, did you think through what you wrote, is it what you truly believe? I ask these because you said it does not matter who owns. Brother, it does matter that you want to sell what jointly belongs to you and I. It has been said that in Buhari’s last sojourn, he did not build one kilometer of road. He has come again, he is not building anything; rather, he has not only destroyed that which others built, he wants to reap where he never sowed. How does it make sense to anyone except the APC’s angry people’s congress that you sell off your most valuable assets in other to finance the budget? Remember that the budget is made up of recurrent expenditure, in other words, you sell off core assets in other to pay for salaries, the profligate life-style of the national assembly and the presidency!

    Some have anchored the suggestion of selling core assets on the need to ‘think outside the box’ Well, this is a short-circuited thinking!

    • emmanuel

      Rommel work for the dramatist in the North East – El-Rufai’s hand in some online medium, so he is on track to work for those who want to buy Nigeria.
      History, sometime around 2005 when the Banks had their mergers, following the sale of African petroleum; the North West undertakers became very furious and asked that TAXACO must be sold to the – remember Otedolas company that transform to FO had gotten the bid, Yar Adua had to prevail on the sale and it went to Dangote (do not mind whose name appeared).
      After that event they decided on redistributing Nigeria wealth and that led to Sanusis ascension into CBN. He was to cripple Southern Banks and work on eventual takeovers. Most failed while Jonathan was there, but they waited for this last chance to finish off Nigeria.
      So do not think this game started because of recession, no. El-Rufai asked for sale of NNPC immediately after 2015 general election.
      It is time to execute the grand plan and i know that this is what will eventually break up Nigeria

      • emmanuel

        North West; I mean

  • Papilo Zwingina

    I remember that one of the major statements that came out of this government when it came in was that they met an empty treasury. When questions were pointedly asked as to where it raised money to lend to states to pay salaries, it replied that it was the 1.5billion dollars from the tax paid by NLNG. Now if a one year tax remittance of NLNG amounts to 1.5 billion dollars, how come you want to sell off such a very profitable asset?

    It is now clear to all Nigerians, especially those who still harbored any illusions about the sincerity of this government; this will go down as the most clueless, empty, inept, vacuous and vissionless! Yet that is not even the worst. It is the most fraudulent. Imagine blackmailing the people that voted you into power to a point where they cannot even reason to tell that which is rational and that which is completely irrational. They started by bandying about vast sums of money stollen and then recovered from the PDP thieves. Now its time to walk the talk, the money recovered is no longer anywhere to be found to finance a budget. If a government cannot finance its budget, what then can it achieve! Recall the fanfare, the euphoria and media blitz that followed the presentation of the budget. I still recall Buhari’s appearance in the floors of the National Assembly. We were told it was the greatest thing that happened to Nigeria. They said its the best budget ever passed in the history of this country. The media went into a frenzy, Buhari and his ministers basked and preened on this novel and epochal achievement. Then came months or is it weeks after, the “best budget in Nigeria’s history” started to unravel. For months, Nigerians were unwilling spectators in a macabre dance as the budget first disappeared, got stolen then mysteriously reappeared, then the president refusing to sign it and for several weeks, Nigerians watched in utter confusion. Then, more was to come. The budget got padded among several firsts. When Nigerians thought those who padded the budget will be prosecuted, the executive came out to clear all of any sin!

    I am watching and waiting to see how Nigerians will react to this latest heist or as usual, we will fold our hands and accept every outrage dished out by this government.