Divergent Views Trail Sales Of Assets At The Senate

Divergent Views Trail Sales Of Assets At The Senate

The floor of senate was thrown into hot debate on Thursday over whether to sell some national assets or not as Federal Government moves to do so.

The President of the senate, Bukola Saraki had earlier thrown its weight behind the plan by the Federal Government to sell some national assets, which include the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas and the three international airports.

However, at the plenary yesterday, some senators rose against it with their views kicking against the planned sales of assets.

In his submission, the Majority Whip, Olusola Adeyeye from Osun Senatorial District called for political restructure rather than sales of assets.

He said that what the country needed now was to take a look at the recommendations of the report of the last national conference that suggested restructuring.

According to him this will empower the state and local governments and make them to look inward on how to generate funds from their local resources instead of running to the Central Government to seek funds.

He insisted that the nation needs true federalism, adding, “I want us to look at this current constitutional review, the various exclusive lists and the various concurrent lists; let us look where we have over-burdened the Federal Government.”
He emphasized that for the country to get out of the current economic crisis, projects must be going on at all levels of governance, which of course include federal, state and local governments.

“Let us begin to implement the zonal intervention projects,” he said.
He attributed some the economic challenges to the cost of running government, which to him is too much compared to developed economies.

“People in government contributed to this problems and they are not ready to change. We must tell ourselves the bitter truth if we must revamp this economy,” he noted.

In his views, Senator Andy Uba said that it was wrong for any government to think of sellig its assets because of recession.

He stated, “It is like selling the future of the next generation while finding solution to the economic recession. If we sell assets now and we find ourselves in recession in about 10 years later, are we going to sell again, no.

Speaking the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Na’Allah, viewed the problem from the government policies perspective, calling for the review of the Treasury Single Account and fiscal regulations.

He said that the creation of TSA had not allowed funds to circulate within the system, saying this has seriously affected the economy.

He also criticized the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy of stoppage of the operation domiciliary account, which according to him had made it difficult for many Nigerians to transact business.
Though it was a good intention to curb corruption and leakages, it does not help the economy now because TSA has made it difficult for many to access loans and mortgages, he said.

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