The former vice-president and presidential candidate
of the People’s Democratic Party has condemned proposal of the Buhari-led administration
to sell national assets to fund the 2019 budget.
In a statement from from his campaign office in Abuja, Wednesday, Atiku
Abubakar said some of the assets
listed for sale in the policy document were assets built or established under
the PDP administrations under which he served as vice-presidential.
The statement says, “As head of the Economic Management Committee during
the Obasanjo administration, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, supervised the
successful policy of privatisation. Privatisation works because it is a
long-term strategy to engender efficiency in the economic system and expand the
frontiers of private sector activity. Its primary goal is NOT to raise money
for short term stabilization of what is clearly a fragile fiscal
system. The government’s planned sale of assets will cause long term
pains and only provide short term gains.
“It makes no sense to sell public assets simply to fund a
‘business-as-usual’ budget that is essentially 70% recurrent. It is
irresponsible to part with valuable assets simply to consume the proceeds (Like
selling your family house to take a trip overseas on holiday).
“We knew that such a day would come, which is why His Excellency Atiku
Abubakar has on various occasions made it clear that what is needed at this
time is fundamentally fiscal restructuring to eliminate our addiction to oil
revenues and strengthen our internal revenue generating capacity and a
restructuring of the budget in favour of capital spending.”
Mr. Atiku further described as ill-advised the decision of the Federal Government to share $322 million Abacha loot to certain Nigerians, only to obtain a $328 million loan from China, “allegedly for ICT development.”
The PDP presidential candidate also appealed to the federal government to come clean on the $43 million found in an Ikoyi apartment, saying the unexplained monies could have been used to fund the 2019 budget.