Why FG plans to sell TBS, National Arts Theatre – Official

Tafawa Balewa Square. [Photo credit: Daily Trust]
Tafawa Balewa Square. [Photo credit: Daily Trust]

The Tafawa Balewa Square, the National Arts Theatre and some selected power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects are part of the key national asset the federal government has concluded plans to sell, an official has said.

The purpose of the proposed sale is to generate sufficient revenue to finance the country’s annual budgets for the next three years (2018-2020), the Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, was quoted as saying by The Nation newspaper.

The newspaper quoted Mr. Akabueze as saying this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Joint Committees on 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework /Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF/FSP, on Monday.

He also noted that the federal government’s non-core assets from the mines and steel sector like houses and estates are part of items slated for sale.

According to him, some items for the 2018 budget would be financed from the revenue garnered from sales of the key government assets as well as national parks.

He said proceeds from the privatisation of the assets would be used to finance the budget deficit of N2.005 trillion, much of which will be financed through domestic and foreign borrowings. He said that had been factored into the 2018 budget.

Nigeria, he said, was generating too little revenue; hence it was expedient to borrow. The official added that the reverse would be the case, if actually the assets were generating revenues.

“We are generating too little revenue, hence we are borrowing. If we generate enough, borrowing ratio will drop”, he said.

However, chairman of the joint committee, Babaginda Aliu, frowned at the absence of representatives of the five federal government agencies whom he described as critical to the 2018 budget consideration and passage.

He noted that notwithstanding the late submission of the MTEF/ FSP, the committee was committed to streamlining its activities to pass the document and ensure the budget is passed in record time.

The Minister of State for Budget and Planning, Zaniab Ahmed; representative of the Governor of Central Bank, Adelabu R.A.; and Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Tunde Fowler; also made presentations during the session.

Also present were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mohammed Dutse, who represented the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who was represented by Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of T&T, Alu S.R.


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  • Gary

    This is arrant nonsense and privatization to the level of madness.
    The federal infrastructure left when the capital was moved to Abuja should be handed over to the Lagos State government and the residents of Nigeria’s most populous state. Period.
    Sad isn’t it that an APC government funded and brought to power by Bola Tinubu and his Yorubas is now being repaid in bad faith.

    Will the Buhari regime have contemplated the sale of these infrastructures if they were located in the North?
    So what exactly has been the collective benefit of the APC alliance for the people of Lagos? It is the state government building the Ikeja airport expressway from the taxes of Lagosians who also pay over half of the VAT that is federally shared with the Sharia states that ban the sale of alcohol.
    A bill to give Lagos a special status in order to keep a fair share of its VAT proceeds was quickly shot down by the same APC-dominated Senate.

    Again Mr Tinubu, other than you personally, what have the people of Lagos and the Yoruba at large gained from the alliance with Buhari?
    We challenge you and your minions to show us the dividends of the self-serving alliance before anyone dares to insult our intelligence by talking of a second term for this terrible tyrant.

  • Abdullah Musa

    Yes, sell everything, including ASO ROCK, to maintain members of National Assembly.

  • thusspokez

    The purpose of the proposed sale is to generate sufficient revenue to finance the country’s annual budgets for the next three years (2018-2020), the Director General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, was quoted as saying by The Nation newspaper.

    How did the government produce and present to the Senate a budget that it cannot afford? And why had the Senate not identified the funding gap, but instead voted for it?

    Now the government is resorting to selling the family silver — a drop in the ocean — to pay for its extravagant budget. This is despite the money it had recuperated from looters; loans from abroad; rise in tax revenue, etc.,

  • thusspokez

    He also noted that the federal government’s non-core assets from the mines and steel sector like houses and estates are part of items slated for sale.

    Nigerian govt votes N100 billion for Family Home Fund – Osinbajo
    May 29, 2017Agency Report

    We have commenced housing projects in 33 states – Fashola
    August 25, 2017Oladeinde Olawoyin

    Yet the same government is now planning on selling its existing houses? We are clearly, seeing disjointed policies of a dysfunctional government.

  • emmanuel

    Nigerian government plans to sell a National theater and Museum. Meanwhile only 48 hours ago the same govt through the governor of Bornu state has concluded plans to turn the seized house of late Boko haram’s founder into a museum and actually BUILD a museum in the location. According to the so called Federal government, “the museum will be a place where people and visitors can go an learn history – history of what happened and about terrorism” . Can you imagine that??? What govt builds a museum to glorify terrorism and present an edifice as a Mecca of sort to encourage religious extremism? And people are quiet and some mugus like @.Thusspokens are busy drawing lines up and down on comment sections.