Atiku Abubakar has reacted to plans by the Federal Government to sell some national assets.
According to Daily Post, Atiku likened it to a family selling their hoe just to go on a trip.
This was made known in a statement issued to newsmen by the Atiku Campaign Organisation.
In the 2018 budget which President Buhari submitted to the National Assembly, Punch reports that the government stated that it would raise N311bn from privatisation, and the sale of national assets to fund the budget.
In November 2017, during a public presentation of the budget, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma said “the sum of N306bn was being expected from privatisation proceeds, while the balance of N5bn would come from the sale of government assets.”
The PDP presidential candidate also advised the Federal Government to look for more viable ways of generating revenue.
The statement reads: “His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, supervised the successful policy of privatization.
Privatization 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.
“Rather than sell public asset, what the government needs to device alternative means of revenue rather than its almost complete reliance on the proceeds of oil and cutting of recurrent expenditures.
“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, the statement explained.
“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).
“For instance, last month, the PDP presidential candidate questioned the wisdom behind the Federal Government sharing $322 million Abacha loot to certain Nigerians, only to obtain a $328 million loan from China, allegedly for ICT development.
“Rather than share that money, the Buhari administration ought to have put that $322 million in an escrow account to be used for funding the 2019 budget.
“Also, we recall that $43 million was found in an Ikoyi apartment. While we note the failed promise of the Buhari administration to come clean on who was behind those monies, we make bold to say that those funds should equally have been placed in escrow for use in funding the 2019 budget.
“It is our hope that the Buhari government will accept this patriotic pro bono advice and retrace its step accordingly.”