National Assets Sale: Senator Shehu Sani Blasts Dangote and Saraki, Calls Them Economic Predators

Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote and Senate President Bukola Saraki may have incurred the wrath of Kaduna central senator, Shehu Sani over their clamour for the sale of some national assets.

Shehu Sani
Human rights activist and Nigerian politician, Shehu Sani has blasted Nigerians calling for the sale of some national assets as a quick fix to the current economic quagmire that has plunged the Nigerian masses into intense hardship.
In a statement made available to Premium Times on Friday, he vocal All Progressives Congress lawmaker described the proponents of such move as “economic predators and profiteers who want to take advantage of the situation in the country.”
The fall in oil prices which plunged Nigeria into economic recession has called for emergency measures thereby creating an avenue for the self-seeking ideas of some stakeholders in the private sector.
It would be recalled that Nigeria’s business mogul and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, recently suggested that it makes more economic sense to sell off the country’s remaining asset like the multi-billion dollar Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Joint Ventures, and use the proceeds to help the economy out of recession.

Mr. Dangote’s suggestion, backed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, has sparked off intense debate among Nigerians.

Mr. Sani, from Kaduna State, condemned the suggestion as being against the interest of the nation. He said privatization in Nigeria has not delivered the much anticipated efficiency and services other than enrich a few fronts and their masters.

“There is currently nothing to show for the sale of government houses, (and) firms. The advocates of sale of our collective national asset simply want to dispossess Nigerians and expand their business empire.

“They call themselves private sector and business men; they refused to invest in agriculture, solid minerals or science and technology, they simply want to buy off profitable public asset.

“There are no captains of industry in Nigeria other than crony businessmen, rent seekers, commission agents who depend on patronage from government.

Mr. Sani said the country’s businessmen prefer to buy off “ready-made” oil wells and gas from the Niger Delta, instead of investing funds to find oil and gas in Lake Chad and Benue trough.

He called on Nigerians to rise up against any attempt to sell the country’s asset, arguing that, “Selling our national asset to stem recession is like selling ones lungs to buy food.

“Recession should excite innovation and ideas and not justify roguery. Nigeria’s poor have always lived under systemic recession and depression and on the edge of extinction,”  he said.

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