Nigeria to sell refineries, ICC, 34 other government properties to fund the 2021 budget

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The Nigerian government is planning to sell over 36 Nigerian properties to fund the N13.58 trillion 2021 budget.

Online news platform, Premium Times reported this planned sales of assets in an exclusive report on Thursday.

The report continued that the properties which cut across energy, industries, communication and infrastructural sectors are expected to be sold or concessioned between January 2021 and November 2022.

The document was submitted to the National Assembly by the Executive and titled “NCP Approved 2021 Work Plan.” It shows the names of the “projects” (as described by the document), the sale strategy, the duration of the process as well as the cost of the properties.

Top among these properties are the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Abuja International Conference Centre (ICC), some unnamed refineries, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Abuja Water Board, Nigerian Film Corporation, among others.

There are however, different sale strategies for the properties. While some are ‘core investor sales’, a few others are for ‘share sales’. Some are for ‘concessioning’, some were listed for a willing buyer and others for ‘full or partial commercialisation’.

A core investor sale involves the transfer of at least 51 per cent ownership, management control in a government company to the private buyer. The buyer builds the needed capacity to ensure the company is profitable.

A concession is a form of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) where a government-owned asset is being operated and maintained by a private investor for a period of time on terms contained in a concession agreement.

Some of the properties are, Yola Electricity Distribution Company, Conclusion of Afam Power & Afam Three Fast Power Limited, Mineral House Lagos, Geregu Power (20% Shareholding Sale), Zungeru HydroPower, Transmission Company of Nigeria, NIPPRefineries, NIPOST Restructuring/Modernisation, Nigerian Film Corporation, AEPB, Nigerian Hotels (in-liquidation), NITEL/MTEL Residual Issues, Abuja Water Board, FG’s Shares in Sales Sugar Company, ICC, River Basin Development Authorities, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Intl Trade Fair Complex, Restructuring of FMBN/FHA,
Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Commodity Exchange, Evaluation of DISCOs & GENCOs, Evaluation of Ports, Resolution of Labour Issues

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed had on January 12 disclosed the government’s plan to sell public assets to aid the finance of the 2021 budget.

The decision was criticised by many and a civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in a statement asked the National Assembly to stop the Federal Government from selling public assets to fund the 2021 budget.

However, speaking on January 22, Aminah stressed that the “intention is not just funding the budget, it is to reactivate these assets and hand it over and have them bring contributions to the growth in the economy.”

“There are some government assets that are dead that can be sold to the private sector to be reactivated and put to use for the benefit of Nigerians,” the Minister said.

“So we are looking at different – and I am a member of the National Council on Privatisation–we are looking at different categories of government assets that government has not been able to manage, that are lying down and in some cases even completely rundown, to cede them off to the private sector.”

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