BEVERLY HILLS, January 22, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, on Friday, said the Federal Government’s planned sale of public assets will benefit Nigerians and help to boost the economy.
The Minister, during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, said some government assets are currently moribund and provide little or no value to Nigerians in their current state.
“There are some government assets that are dead that can be sold to the private sector to be reactivated and put to use for the benefit of Nigerians.
“I am a member of the National Council on Privatisation – we are looking at different categories of government assets that government has not been able to manage, that are lying down and in some cases even completely rundown, to cede them off to the private sector”, the Minister said.
Ahmed had on January 12, revealed the government’s plan to sell public assets to partly finance the N13.58 trillion 2021 budget.
On Friday, Ms Ahmed stressed that the “intention is not just funding the budget, it is to reactivate these assets and hand it over and have them bring contributions to the growth in the economy.”
She added that the Bureau of Public Enterprises will begin to coordinate with other arms of government on the asset sales in the first quarter of the year.
”In the last week of December, we had a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation where we approved the annual work plan, the 2021 work plan, for that Bureau of Public Enterprises,” she said.
“And I guess it is in this first quarter that the BPE will now be engaging the Senate committee and other committees they work with to say this is our work plan for the year”, she explained
A civil society group, SERAP, had in a statement on Sunday, asked the National Assembly to stop the federal government from selling public assets to fund the 2021 budget.
The group advised the government to identify areas in the budget to cut, “salaries and allowances for public officials.”