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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

We’re not aware of plan to sell national assets to fund 2021 budget – Senate

Theodore Orji, chairman of the senate committee on privatisation, says the senate is not part of the federal government’s plan to sell or concession some national assets to fund the 2021 budget.

It had earlier been reported that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is planning to sell the integrated power plants in Geregu, Omotosho, and Calabar at N434 billion and concession the National Art Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square, and all the River Basin Development Authorities at N836 million.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Orji said his committee was not invited when papers were signed in respect to the concession or sale of these assets.

“I also believe that the senate committee on privatisation should be carried along when most of the arrangements to either sell or concession our national assets are being made so that we would be aware,” the Abia lawmaker said.

”Let me assure Nigerians that there is no member of the senate committee on privatisation that knows about all these things except they read it on the pages of newspapers.

“We were never briefed by the management of the BPE. We were not there when the necessary documents were signed. We were never invited at all.”

‘DG BPE SUMMONED OVER ASSETS SALE’

Orji said Alex Okoh, BPE director-general, has been summoned to explain the details of the sale and concession.

The chairman said his panel will check to see if “due process” was followed in the agreements on the sale and concession of the assets.

“We would ascertain whether due process was followed. We would also look at the amount that the BPE put up the assets for either outright sale or concession,” he said

“We would scrutinise the papers to see whether they are fair or ridiculous amounts because what Nigeria as a nation needs now, is money.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had presented the proposed N13.09 trillion budget estimates to a joint session of the national assembly in October.

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