The President of the Senate Bukola Saraki has recommended the sale of some national assets and the utilisation of proceeds for infrastructure development just like African richest man Aliko Dangote had earlier suggested.
Saraki said sale of national assets like the country’s stake in NLNG was necessary for the nation to fight it’s way out of the current recession.
Saraki said this in his welcome address to Senators at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday. He said, “The Executive must raise capital from asset sales and other sources to shore up foreign reserves. This will calm investors, discourage currency speculation and stabilise the economy.
“The measures should include part sale of NLNG Holdings; reduction of government share in upstream oil joint venture operation; government’s stake in financial institutions, e.g, African Finance Cooperation; and the privatisation and concessions of major/regional airports and refineries.”
The Senate President also urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive to among other things engage in meaningful dialogue with those aggrieved in the Niger Delta.
Dangote had earlier suggested that government sell the NLNG to get enough money to bail the country out of the ongoing recession.
But the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) had advised against the move, saying NLNG was a cash cow that is helping the country.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives members barely sat for 40 minutes before adjourning plenary for the day.
The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, announced the demise of three former and one serving member of the House after which he called for Christian and Muslim prayers for the repose of the souls of the departed.
It was widely expected that the issue of budget padding allegation made by former Chairman House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, would dominate the sitting.