Liberation Party of Nigeria(LiP) has caution the Federal Government against alleged plans to sell Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), and other national assets to fund the N30,000 new national minimum wage signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18.
In a statement yesterday, the party said: “It is our view that to generate additional revenue, government should block the looting of the economy, reform the tax administrative system so that the rich can pay more tax; monetise oil receipts at N360/U$ to the government; reduce or eliminate waivers, incentives and exemptions thereby increasing revenue for government.”
The statement by the chairman of the party, Professor Idowu Awopetu, Presidential Technical Advisory Committee(PTAC), inaugurated by President Buhari on January 9, had recommended sale of NNPC, mining and solid minerals sector; agricultural resources such as the various river basin development authorities, media assets such as the NTA, Radio Nigeria, News Agency of Nigeria, Nigeria Film Corporation, stadia, concessions of airports among others to raise about N4.2 trillion to pay the new minimum wage.
Among others, the LiP statement said: “The question is whether the sale of government assets would sustain the payment of the new wages going forward. The country has gone through this route of selling government assets some years ago.
“The outcome was to enrich the political class; most of the privatised companies were never turned around. The sale of government assets such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should not even be contemplated based on the importance of oil in the country’s development calculus.
“There exist other frameworks such as commercialisation that can make state-owned enterprises to be effective and efficient. The issue is to have robust and transparent governance that would fight corruption, thievery and outright looting of the treasury to preserve or utilise such funds for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“More still the unsustainable emoluments of politicians, which currently consumes upward of 20% of the national budget, needs whittling down and aligned with general emolument.”
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