Senator Ike Ekweremadu and other senators have decried the various advice from elite Nigerians to sell off national assets such as oil refineries/assets, as a means to wiggle out of recession facing Nigeria today.
During a debate which contemplates on the issue of the country’s economy, senators also called for a constitutional amendment to end extravagant sharing of revenues that belonged in the federation’s account.
Voicing their objections, deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and George Akume, argued that no country should resort to selling its assets as a way out of economic recession.
Exemplifying with other oil producing countries, Ekweremadu said:
“UAE does not even allow you close to oil wells let alone selling them.
“For a country like Saudi Arabia, its budget each year is run by investments from oil revenue.
“Other countries are investing; I am sure we will not be fair to the next generation if we sell off our assets.
“If we must sell, we have to sell the non-performing assets so that people can turn them around and create employment.”
Speaking further on the importance of saving, the deputy senator urged the federal and state government to amend some policies written in Section 162 from 3,4,5,6 which states that each money in the federation account is made to be shared.
Mr. Akume also made strong argument against oil asset sale and he said:
“If we want to sell our oil assets at this time when the price of oil crashed, how much are we going to realise?
“We are making a mistake here; what we are doing is to ensure that those who are within the bracket of the stolen dollars will still come to buy.”
Hence he said Nigeria should focus on industrialisation through agriculture.
And like Ekweremadu, other senators; Mr. Akume and Mr. Shehu Sani (of APC Kaduna Central) also supported the review of the revenue sharing formula.
“The situation whereby states come to Abuja every month to collect cheques and then go back to execute capital and recurrent expenditure has made impossible any initiative to boost our economy,” Mr. Sani said, as he urge state governments to look into ways to improve their internally generated revenue rather than relying on the federal allocation.