Organised labour has warned the Federal Government to reject the recommendations to sell the country’s assets, specifically its shares in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited and the aviation industry.
The Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, in separate statements on Thursday, described the advice given by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi and Aliko Dangote as selfish and not in the national interest.
They pledged to resist any further sale or concession of national assets under the guise of fighting economic recession.
The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said government’s investments in the LNLG and Joint Venture oil upstream operations were profitable and should be preserved for the future.
Wabba said, “It is on record that dividends, in excess of $1bn, have accrued annually to the national coffers from the gas company over the past 12 years. These calls are more worrisome when one considers the history of sovereign assets divestiture in the past. Where are the proceeds from sales of the assets in the power sector for instance?
“With the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that these assets were distributed to favoured individuals and surrogates of the ruling elite without any appreciable benefits to Nigerians.
The TUC described those calling for the sale of national assets as enemies of Nigeria.
The TUC President, Mr. Bala Kaigama, and the Acting Secretary-General, Mr. Simeso Amachree, said in a statement on Thursday that the suggestion for the sale of the assets was also disgraceful.
“The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria warns those calling for the sale of national shareholdings in Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited and concession of the country’s airports to drop the idea if they do not want to incur the wrath of workers. Those suggestions are disgraceful and portray them as enemies of the state,” it said.
NUPENG President, Igwe Achese, called on the Federal Government to ignore the advice and encourage foreign and local investors to set up new refineries.
He reiterated that the economy could be revived through short-term, medium-term and long-term economic measures to ameliorate poverty and suffering of Nigerians.