SOLUDO FORESEES HIGHER RECESSIONS IN NIGERIA
BY OMOKHUALE PUAH
Former Governor, Chukwuma Soludo of the Central Bank of Nigeria had on Monday said that the recommendations for Nigeria to sell its asset in other to raise fund, is dangerous and troubling.
These recommendations, which were made; by the National Economic Council (NEC), the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote were dismissed by Mr. Soludo, who said that “The scheme will only be a win-win for government and its collaborators in the private sector whereas, Nigerians and their economy will be the losers.
According to Soludo, the recommendations are merely an advice, subject to a final approval by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, but he considers them as fundamental flaws, based on false foundation.
Fortnight ago, NEC at the end of their retreat urged the government to try the sale of assets; Nigerian Liqified Natural Gas (LNG), a four state owned refinery, Nigeria’s equity in Africa Finance Corporation, AFC and the airports.
He urged the government to reduce their equity holdings in upstream oil and gas joint venture operation, so as to build reserves for recovery, but this recommendation has equally attracted criticisms from the Nigeria Labour Congress and other concerned Nigerians, describing the recommendation’s backbone, as ‘Economic vampires’, which the government ought to take precautions against.
In the words of Mr. Soludo, “any sale of asset now, amounts to chasing pennies, when we are losing pounds, as such a quick auction of selling national asset can only benefit the few privileged, while its jeopardy on Nigeria, would be a historical mistake”, he said.
Mr. Soludo faulted the government, asking “if the policy of selling Nigeria’s asset is to get out of recession, what happens to the revenue Nigeria loses everyday in oil production and sales through disruptions in the Niger delta?
“If your objective of selling the assets is to build government reserves and budget revenue, then you are in haste to lose pounds and grab pennies” he added.