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FG to finance 2021 budget with proceeds from sale of refineries, TBS, 34 other national properties

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These properties cut across energy, industries, communication and infrastructural sectors and the concession and sale of these properties is expected to happen within the year and November 2022.

In a document submitted to the National Assembly by the Executive titled “NCP Approved 2021 Work Plan,” and seen by PremiumTimes, it shows the names of the “projects”, the strategy to be used for the sale of these properties, the duration of the process for the sales as well as the cost of the properties.

Top among these properties are the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Abuja International Conference Centre (ICC), some unnamed refineries, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Abuja Water Board, Nigerian Film Corporation.

Already, the process has begun for the concessioning of the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, and the Calabar and Kano Special Economic Zones.

Others are the Integrated Power Plants in Geregu, Omotosho, and Calabar to be sold at N434 billion

There are however, different sale strategies for the properties. While some are ‘core investor sales’, that is, transferring at least 51 per cent onwership to new owners, a few others are for ‘share sales’. Some are for ‘concessioning,’ a form of public-private partnership, PPP and others for ‘full or partial commercialisation’. Still, some properties have been enlisted to be sold to a ‘willing buyer’.

The 36 projects categorised into five departments, according to the document are as follows;
Energy  – Nine projects
Industries and communications – Eight projects
Development institutions and natural resources – Six projects
Infrastructure and public private partnership – Four projects
Post transaction management department – Nine projects

Weeks ago, the finance minister, Zainab Ahmed confirmed the sale and concession of these national properties while giving a breakdown of the budget to stakeholders. In her presentation, she added that government will also engage in foreign and domestic borrowings as additional source of finance for the year’s budget.

Nigerians have however kicked against this. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has written to the National Assembly asking it to stop the president from selling off national properties – an act which it said would amount to a fundamental breach of constitutional and fiduciary duties.

It advised that rather than sell national properties or borrow, government should cut cost in areas like lawmakers’ salaries, constituency allowance, wardrobe allowance, recess allowance and entertainment allowance – to help generate revenue.

Describing the sale plan as counter-productive, the organisation said the process would be vulnerable to corruption and mismanagement, undermine the social contract with Nigerians, leave the government worse off and hurt the country in the long run. It is neither necessary nor in the public interest.

 

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