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Recession: Should President Buhari Sell Some of Nigeria’s Assets?



President Muhammadu Buhari (2)

President Muhammadu Buhari

There have been calls in recent times for the Federal Government to sell some of its assets, especially in the Oil and Gas sector, to raise foreign exchange so that the economy can get out of the recession.

Speaking to CNBC Africa last week, Africa’s Richest man, Aliko Dangote said that, following the economic challenges the country is facing, the Federal Government should sell some assets.

“If I had challenges in my company, I would not hesitate to sell assets, to remain afloat, to get to the better times, because it doesn’t make any sense for me to keep any assets and then suffocate the whole organisation.

What we need to do now in my own thinking… we have a lot of assets to sell. We can sell part of the joint venture; part of the shares. You know government normally owns 60 percent.

We can sell in an open tender be it Chinese. We can change the term and make it an operating one, just like what we have in NLNG. We also have another asset I think we don’t really need.

The African Finance Corporation; it can fetch them $800million easily. My own suggestion before was that they should even sell 100 percent of NLNG. I don’t think government should be in any business of investing in sectors of LNG.

A company like that, with earnings of $1.5 billion on the average, they should get anywhere between $12 billion and $15 billion,” Dangote had said.

Speaking at an event in Lagos recently, the Emir of Kano, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II called for the sale of assets, and the provision of tax incentives for current and potential investors. Sanusi, who is the former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that the assets can be sold with a plan to buy it back after sometime.

Watch it here:

Also, the National Economic Council (NEC), after their meeting on Thursday, approved the sale of national assets as a means to get the economy out of recession.

Other measures agreed upon by the NEC, were the implementation of Fiscal Stimulus/Budget Priorities, fast-track procedures through legislation and implementation of Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the budget and meaningful diversification of the economy and cut down importation

The NEC consists of all governors in the federation and the CBN governor, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as its Chairman.

Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mine and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, have all supported the call for sale of assets.

Eminent Economist and Managing Director Financial Derivative, Bismarck Rewane, speaking to Vanguard on the matter, said:

I believe in the sale of national assets in a strategic manner. That is you sell and go into a simultaneous repurchase agreement so when the prices go up you can buy it back and pay a carrying cost. But I am against selling the NLNG because it is a cash cow.

You sell a non strategic asset at this time but even if you sell the strategic assets which are the Joint Ventures, you cannot even lock down. So we must have a simultaneous option to repurchase when the prices improve.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Femi Falana said that the sale of the nation’s assets is “in total conflict with section 16 of the (Nigerian) Constitution which has prohibited the concentration of the nation’s wealth in the hands of a few people or a group. Indeed, by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution, the nation’s natural resources shall be held in trust for the Nigerian people by the federal government.”

He added that some legislators are planning to purchase the nations’s asset, and that the president should not sell.

“But for selfish considerations, a few legislators who may be queuing up to participate in the purchase of the nation’s assets are not prepared to defend the Constitution.

If the senate is genuinely desirous to contribute meaningfully to the debate on the economy, it should, as a matter of urgency, propose a substantial reduction in the jumbo emoluments of federal legislators which are said to be the highest in the world,” Falana said.

Falana advised the federal government to recover huge bailout funds given to banks and private companies during the tenures of Sanusi Lamido and Chukwuma Soludo as CBN governors. He also said that the federal government could liquidate toxic debts worth ‘over N5 trillion’.

BNers what do you think?


  1. e mi ni

    September 23, 2016 at 11:57 am

    he should not sell Nigerian assets…. i live in the UK, where almost all the nation’s services (e.g. royal mail, british gas, british petroleum, british rail) have been sold enriching the few who the majority cannot hold to account. I seriously pray that a time will come in Nigeria where responsible leaders will manage these assets and ensure that the wealth generated benefits ALL Nigerians.

    • oversabi

      September 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      To who? Dangote and Saraki? ABSOLUTELY NO. We should suffer as is and suffer until we see the change. Selling assets in Nigeria (like Ajaokuta steel) never made Nigeria rich. In fact it has always made a few richer and the most poorer. So no. All those angling for it have personal interests. they are no patriots.

    • Luu

      September 23, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Exactly. PHCN was sold, how far? NITEL was sold, how far?

      Meanwhile, this idea of selling is a lazy man’s idea of resolving recession.
      Sell the presidential jets. Reduce the salary and allowances of the HoR members (Those people do nothing). Reduce cost governance, if PMB traveled to UNGA with 108 members then we have a long way to go. Total entourage to any official trip should be less than 20 this recession period. Give licenses and tax cuts to solid mineral investors. Work on making power more efficient, Once there’s steady power, Nigerians are intuitive and harworking SMEs will multiply. Remodel our tax system, give the power tax-cut so that the can spend more and drive consumer. Then you tax cars and land and increase tax for the upper class.

      So many things to do, biko this government should get innovative. Better yet begin with sacking Emefiele. His idle brain didnt affect our economy when Okonjo was on hand to check his policies. But there’s nobody to check him. All he is doing is trial and error. Plus, he now doubles as minister of finance in addition to his fiscal responsibilities. Find technocrats. Find young innovative people. This administration needs brain not excuses.

      Please i cant read through ooo. Excuse the typos

    • Marlvina

      September 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      I laugh in Greek! Please President Buhari should start by selling all his private jets and that of dem politicians!!! Those are Naija assets too.

    • ATL's finest

      September 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      ???????lol @ Private jet 🙂 I know that’s right. My goodness is it that bad???? The thought of him thinking about selling Nigerian assets is very sickening. May God help us all

    • Segi

      September 23, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      So the next set of crooks can come me and spend trillions buying new ones?!

  2. Dame Marian

    September 23, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    No he should not. He wants to sell because he has no idea of what he is doing there as a president and also has nothing to loose if he does…….

  3. Gbemi

    September 23, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I think the question should be: is the recession man-made (to an extent) so Nigeria (during Buhari’s regime) sells her assets?

    • artklub

      September 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      great point. i would not put it past these stupid and evil men.

    • oversabi

      September 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      God bless you Gbemi. Nothing pass these northerners.

  4. Selling the nations future for Short term what?

    September 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Sigh my own is if they truly have the interest of Nigerians, they should dare not sell LNG to Dangote that is my own. Sigh.

  5. FinchleysFinest

    September 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    why are are we thinking about selling assets ? Have we finished selling all their houses abroad and saved all the money they’ve all stolen?

  6. Elle

    September 23, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    To be frank, he has no idea on how to function as president; Just playing the try and see game. I now believe he did not write waec.

    • oversabi

      September 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Too late boo.

  7. Bandele

    September 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    It makes perfect sense for Nigeria to rid itself of some moribund “self-depreciating” assets to make a few extra bucks, which can in turn be channeled into more productive sectors of the economy. But what defies all economic and common-sense logic is for the federal government to sell-off its income generating assets just to get yourself out of a recession. Assets like the comatose refineries or better still the wasting Ajaokuta that successive governments of the past 20 yrs have been promising to re-vitalize can be easily sold off (if they’ll ever find any investor dumb enough to buy it especially considering the glut in the global steel market). However tampering with assets such as the NLNG which are potential cash cows for the Nigerian economy is simply ridiculous.
    Exiting a recession is not just about how many things you can find to sell but about making the right economic policies and having the political will to back them up-something clearly lacking in this current administration. CBN and MOF singing discordant tunes will not help us. It will also help if the government can cut wastages right from the presidency to the legislature and stop deceiving themselves. Only then will we even have a chance of exiting this self-inflicted recession..

    • Selling the nations future for Short term what?

      September 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you very much.. Can you imagine the nonsense?

    • FinchleysFinest

      September 23, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      I appreciate your comment… but this only will work where Politicians are accountable.. So they will sell the asset and we wont even see the money .. Biko…. let them leave it as it is…. They should stop stealing… Do you know how many Millions or billions gets stolen everyday?

    • oversabi

      September 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      mm hmm. Where is all the money they were going to recover from foreign bank accounts? All the assets that were sold in the past nko- NITEL, NIPOST, and the hotels – how far with the revenue that was generated from those assets even though they were sold at well below their market value? What about seized assets of thieves? Have they liquidated at market value and used up all those monies?

      Mira mi, this is what I am demanding as a citizen. I need to see the nation’s bookkeeping on this issue of we are broke. I need to see all the incoming monies (regular incoming), and all the regular payments (salaries, etc). Then I need to see all the incoming from recovered stolen sovereign wealth and how each cent has been allotted. Listening to this BUhari team it sounds like if you gave them all the money in the European union and US treasuries, they will still be broke. I am demanding a spreadsheet. In every household, when money dey loss anyhow anyhow, what do you do? You sit down and do a spreadsheet that accounts for everything including expenditures on matches.

    • GLB

      September 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      What you fail to understand is that Ajaokuta has already been sold to investors that bought it not to revamp it but for the quality of equipment which they stripped and shipped to their country. Govt. has finally taken it back and will now spend billions replacing the equipment that were sold for a penny. How these people sell their children’s heritage for a bowl of porridge is very sad.
      Nigerians have amnesia and tend to forget events very quickly which is why politicians will keep taking them for a ride else no sane individual that has kept track of previously sold assets from NITEL, FG’s real estate across the country et al will call for assets to be sold. Not only are they sold below true value but they become extinct. This govt. should seek professional help. All these policy changes and then reverting to status quo is what has led the economy to its current state.

  8. Nwa nna

    September 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Absolutely not! Aliko Dangote is an oligarchy that feeds off the Nigerian state assests. What Nigeria needs, are qualified persons, keyword here is “qualified” that are hired by the FGN and allowed to navigate the ship of Nigeria. But in Nigeria, this is wishful thinking, unfortunately. Sigh

    On a different subject, BN your pop up ads are becoming very intrusive and taking away from enjoying content on your site. I know that I’m not alone in this complaint, we understand you gotta make ad dollars but your pop up ads are taking away from content enjoyment.. Please see what your IT folks can do to make these ads less intrusive. Thank you for understanding

    • Sauli

      September 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Is it not corruption to have a pop up advert with a close button that doesn’t work? and still leave it there after numerous complaint from your readers? Bella please repeat after me “Change begins with me” Now start by taking off this fraud of an advert. Thank you very much.

    • Odi

      September 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      The irony is that because the ads are so annoying, I will make sure I don’t patronize that brand.

    • nene+

      September 23, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Odi egwu @ the stubborn advert!

    • Shi Shi

      September 24, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Unfortunately Bella don chop the money clean mouth. So there you have it. They’ve done the crime and so must do the time.

    • Person

      September 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Or use an ADBlocker like AdBlock Plus on al your browsers. No ads. #end

    • Tosin

      September 24, 2016 at 5:54 am

      You’re an angel. Thank you.

  9. Prince

    September 23, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    That is the craziest thing anyone could think of. To sell our pride? What will our children grow up to meet. Whoever came up with that suggestion is an enemy of this nation.

  10. artklub

    September 23, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    These guys do not have the best interests of Nigeria at heart. They are short term thinkers, with no smarts and no solutions. Most of all, they are selfish m-f’s who want to steal what is left in the land. They do not care about you or your future generation. Lets call it what it really is. Buhari, you were given a mandate to rule wisely and you have proven to be an impotent, uncreative FAILURE!!!

  11. bree

    September 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    now they want to sell the future….lMaO

  12. oo

    September 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Anybody remember that advert in those days about education that this Buhari was spearheading, song goes like this

    ‘parents listen to your children, they are the leaders of tomorrow, try to pay our school fees and give us sound education’

    So dude said we are the leaders of ‘tomorrow’, this tomorrow has come and we are not still the leaders, he is now the leader in our ‘future’ and still has no clue.

  13. Iris

    September 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Jesus, they are going to kill the country. Sell assets to come out of recession?! That’s how they will sell everything and then create a committee to look into how the funds disappeared yet again.

  14. Tosin

    September 23, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    what Rewane said

  15. Marian

    September 23, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    So they sell and the money will be found in a foreign account years later.

    What we need is a no questions asked policy that will allow all the corrupt politicians to give or even lend us some money from the stolen funds and when the country is in a better place financially we can work out a payment plan.

  16. Odi

    September 23, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I just wish everyone who voted for buhari would move to one side of Nigeria and live under his clueless rule while those of us who weren’t for him would move to another. It’s just unfair that we all get to live under this disaster of a president.

  17. Odi

    September 23, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    The first thing you do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging. You want to sell the nation’s assets? At what cost? For how much? To whom? And then what?
    What happened to all the billions that have been retrieved so far? Is that what the president and his family are touring the world with? Is that what Aisha is buying her gold, purses, and wristwatches with? Did you say it’s not? So you mean to tell me that the president is that wealthy? You mean he lied to the world? Did you say they’re gifts? They accepted such exorbitant gifts? Isn’t that corruption at the top? Isn’t that perpetuating what he promised to eradicate? Aren’t you scared that the $$ are being sold to people who have offered even more mouth watering personal gifts at the expense of Nigeria? You think your fickle leader will turn that down?

    The only way Nigeria will move forward is to stage a revolution. Impeach the dullard by fire by force. Take down every government official from beginning to end including their political god fathers and run them out of the country. Hostile takeovers in every aspect of the word.
    But we won’t. Instead we are busy reading the body language of the leader. The body language of an illiterate, unqualified, undeserving dullard. It’s a shame really.

  18. Suga

    September 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    @Odi exactly my wish. If only APC and Buharis supporters would be left here in Nigeria whilst the rest follow Jonathan to the other side of the country I’m sure the people with Jonathan would have been living and feeling better. When all an old president knows is how to revenge and how to travel with his family, without any plans for his country to move forward. Let him go to Tanzania and see how smart and brilliant their present president is working then he would resign due to the level he has failed his supporters from the day he was sworn in as the president. That President has proven that a system in Africa can still work with the right person in charge. They want to sell this and that when there are a million things to stop at every level of governance to make more money yet they won’t see it or talk about it. They are simply heartless and self centered. Let’s pray they would not sell Aso rock before this administration is over. Worst administration ever in history of Nigeria

  19. Agu

    September 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    This is the problem with Nigeria we act like we are very smart but sometimes we are not if Nigeria government devalued naira when the where told to do it by all financial institutions around the world by now the country would have recovered and not even get worst as it’s today. To sale some of Nigeria asset to boost the economy may sound like a bad idea to some people but economical it’s good much better than borrowing a lot of money that will make us be in bigger dept. even if we can still sale some of our asset and also borrow money it’s not a bad idea as long as the money are used properly to revive the economy. When United state was in recession the sale there asset in some of the companies the have major stake in either the sale it to China or private companies.

  20. Miss Anoni Moss

    September 23, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    And let me guess who will swoop in and buy most of the so called assets… Aliko Dangote

  21. zelda

    September 23, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    and can we have account of proceeds from previous sales?

  22. Oluchi

    September 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Sell Nigeria assets to come out of recession? Ridiculous! This is the best idea we can come up with? In other words when a business, family hits a bad patch, assets should be sold to come out of the recession. Granted, we agree to this madness of selling Nigeria assets, with the way the country is structured, will it bring us out of the recession? What guarantee do we have that money realized from the sale will not end up in the bottomless pit? Nigeria I hail thee…Our leaders should be forward thinking. abeg

  23. NG

    September 23, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    My own song is the same- you cannot impoverish a region and a people while safeguarding yours and expect peace to reign.
    Sell national assets right? Those who will buy are going to mainly buy with money stolen from the golden goose- oil from Nieger Delta etc. The rest of the country stole and retained their money and will use this to buy up the national assets while those from the devasted Niger Delta who stole have been pr are being made to return their own loot, meaning? The rest of the country will get it all leaving the east and ss with nothing abi?

    Power is might. The powers that be can defy all opposition to get things their way, but it will be foolhardy to imagin you can impoverish a people so and get away with it forever i.e, they will just fold their hands and allow you enjoy your ill-gotten wealth, gotten at their expense, without a whimper. Na lie!

    BN, the advert of this babe in green no allow me see wetin I dey type sef.

  24. Onetallgirl

    September 23, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Instead of selling Nigeria’s invisible assets, why don’t Buhari give back some of the money he has taken from the government.

  25. nnenne

    September 24, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Oh Buhari, simply downsize your government. Reduce income of legislators and executives.Reduce your spending.

  26. Stephanie

    September 24, 2016 at 7:31 am

    ….so the general idea is sell everything that has to do with you, and nothing that has to do with me? I’m so sad for my country right now cos we don’t just need new government, we need new people. The fact that we still don’t think, up till now, that as people we also have some sacrifices and changes to make on a greater level is amazing. Somebody will come and say their buying 100 bread for 200…are you well?? How have you still managed to tell yourself that that is a sacrifice/change you have consciously made? When you are still jumping red light, still hoarding dollars, still throwing your gala wrapper in the gutter. The man will sell his jets, then you will ask him to sell his cars, then you will ask him to sell his cows, then his land. Never will it satisfy. I’m not saying the government does not have some downsizing to do. But so do Nigerians.

    • LemmeRant

      September 24, 2016 at 10:09 am

      So you’re asking Nigerians living below the dollar to downsize.

      People that are being owed salaries, people that earn so little in a society where the cost of living is so high, where they bill you for services not rendered.
      Where young entrepreneurs are being frustrated by the harsh economic conditions. Where employees are getting the sack.

      A country where the banks instead of investing our money in our businesses, would rather give it to ben bruce and the naija big boys who have no intention of paying back. Now our banks are now using our money to startup competing businesses (e.g. Ndani tv, access tv, sme markethub) instead of investing in existing ones.
      Banks are using depositors money to compete with entrepreneurs and these same banks would deny them loans, but sponsor corrupt politicians.

      But no, lets leave all these guys and concentrate on the man eating gala on the road. He is the real problem. He is the one who needs to downsize.

      Please lemme now ask you. Where do you want him to downsize to?

    • LemmeRant

      September 24, 2016 at 10:12 am

      So you’re asking Nigerians living below the dollar to downsize.

      People that are being owed salaries, people that earn so little in a society where the cost of living is so high, where they bill you for services not rendered.
      Where young entrepreneurs are being frustrated by the harsh economic conditions. Where employees are getting the sack.

      A country where the banks instead of investing our money in our businesses, would rather give it to ben bruce and the naija big boys who have no intention of paying back. Now our banks are now using our money to startup competing businesses (e.g. Ndani tv, access tv, sme markethub) instead of investing in existing ones.
      Banks are using depositors money to compete with entrepreneurs and these same banks would deny them loans, but sponsor corrupt politicians.

      But no, lets leave all these guys and concentrate on the man eating gala on the road. He is the real problem. He is the one who needs to downsize.

      Please lemme now ask you. Where do you want him to downsize to?

  27. Courage

    September 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Very sad….Dangote already gunning for the big one. These politicians are killing this country.

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