Following indicated plans by the federal government to sell the Tafawa Balewa Square, the National Arts Theatre and other selected power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects, Nigerians have taken to social media to share their diverse opinions.
The proposed sale according to the Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, is to generate sufficient revenue to finance the country’s budget for the next three years (2018-2020).
According to Mr. Akabueze, Nigeria’s revenue generation capacity is dismal, leaving her with no choice than to borrow.
He however supported his argument by saying the reverse would be the case if the asset it owned were generating revenue.
“We are generating too little revenue, hence we are borrowing. If we generate enough, borrowing ratio will drop”, he said.
Shehu Sani, a senator representing Kaduna central, took to twitter on Wednesday to register his grievance over the planned action by the federal government.
“The proposal to sell off the National Theatre and Tafawa Balewa Square in order to finance the 2018 budget is unacceptable. These are our national monuments and priceless edifices of our history. I will stand against it in the floor of the senate”, he said.
The tweet quickly generated widespread reactions on his timeline with Nigerians sharing their sentiments.
“Sir kindly educate me on the need to keep it, cos as it is now, it’s not maintained & a financial burden on FG. If sold it will still be on Nigerian soil useful & maintained” a twitter user, Ray @raybigtime said.
Another user, Ali Boma¥€ @iamalibomaye asked: “In history which country has ever sold their National theatre ?”
Read other reactions here:
On this, we are agreed!
— Kadaria Ahmed (@KadariaAhmed) November 28, 2017
I'm surprised, Ma. The National Theatre as is just a huge drain. The location is perfect for events but like most things under Govt control, it is underutilized. That place has contributed so little to the nation in many years. Why not sell it to someone with plans to operate?
— Gbenga Olorunpomi (@GbengaGOLD) November 28, 2017
Sell? No! How about make it private driven where government only retains the smaller % of ownership. While the private sector runs it to achieve its potential, government still get some revenue.
— 'Damola- Irinajo (Àpésìn) (@dharmorla) November 29, 2017
Govt retaining small % of ownership is same thing as selling. They can sell controlling stake and keep like 30%. Imagine Terra kulture owners managing National Theatre.
— O.L.A.W.A.L.E. (@walexemma) November 29, 2017
I think you guys don’t understand this concept of selling. You can sell 60% stake and still have 40% or vice versa.
These things cannot be handles by government. Nitel was sold, we’re better off for it. Same would have been with Nigerian airways if not for kwarruption
— One Guy Like That… (@bigbrutha_) November 29, 2017
If we sell them today to "FINANCE" the budget what are we selling tomorrow, assets are to be bought and utilized not sold.
That's Sec sch Econs not rocket science.
— Ajiri (@AjiriOguh) November 29, 2017
This guy has nothing apart from watching out for what others are doing just for him to stand FOR or AGAINST… Allah ya shiryeka kayi na kanka! Mtsw.
— Saifu bawa (@SaifuBawa) November 28, 2017
They sold NEPA, they sold Federal Houses, they increased electricity bill tariff, they are heavily borrowing, they are now at the market to sell Surulere Stadium and others to themselves again. @RealSeunKuti @ProfOsinbajo @SaharaReporters @Afrobeat_World @Lukuman9 @Lasmo99
— Critique Mystique (@CritikMystique) November 28, 2017