The sale of the Afam Power Plant for the sum N105 billion has landed President Muhammadu Buhari in a hot okro soup.
A group, Nigerians Against Bad Policies (NABP) is firing at President Buhari, condemning the power blant deal in very strong terms. The deal was sealed on Thursday, November 5, 2020.
Spokespersons for the group, Adejobi Peter and Kachi Gerald, in a statement, faulted the deal. According to them, ‘’this sale cum privatisation is a gross display of irresponsibility on the part of the Federal Government.
‘’For us, it represents further criminal and shady sales of national assets which we have seen over the years. In all of these sales, none has been in the interest of Nigerian masses.’’
The hard tackling group says, ‘’what we have had is a transfer of public assets to private profiteers, albeit criminally. Rather than selling off the nation’s assets, these national assets should be revived, preserved and managed in a way that the future generations would not only benefit from, but be proud of.
‘’This means proper funding of the concerned sectors and its democratic management by workers in such sectors. The sale of the power generation company to Transcorp Power Consortium is unacceptable, regrettable and highly self-serving and convenient for selfish capitalist interest.
‘’This self-serving decision would only benefit capitalist collaborators, not poor Nigerians and the economy. This is because such sale will further send the power sector into crisis; for the masses, it means more darkness and outrageous charges as electricity tariff.
‘’If one tests of the strength of a true democracy is the measure of trust between the masses and their government, then this decision to privatise Afam Power Plant comes off as yet another poor advertisement of this administration’s practice of a government of the people.’’
Continuing, it said the intention behind this privatisation is ‘’dubious and lacks the general consensus and support of the citizenry. The bulk of the Nigerian people are wondering who the people behind this enterprise are. The answer is not far-fetched, It is the same people who are not only running them down but also projecting them as worthless items which cannot be nationally run.
‘’Only to subterraneously buy them by proxies and cronies. Another critical question is, at what price are these assets being sold? Accountability is strongly brought to question here as with in most of the previous touted sales, the amount put out to the public is often not the true picture of the agreed deal. In this regard, the sale of national assets in the past, have not always met the minimum standards of transparency.
‘’It, therefore, portends a deliberate ploy to milk Nigerians of their collective patrimony and destroy every legacy left for the future generation of this country.
‘’The Afam power plant sale is a glaring case in point here; for a gigantic project of that nature which has cost the nation trillions of Naira, with massive land space of community land, and of which viability is not in doubt, to be given away at a paltry N105 billion is a sad commentary on the administration/sale of public assets in Nigeria by those entrusted with public thrust.
‘’The masquerading of the sale as a result of the COVID-19 and the heightened need to help generate revenue to support the fiscal plan for next year shows the narrow-mindedness and focus of this administration.
‘’ Tackling economic decline with the sale of national assets is a clear manifestation of ineptitude and roundly anti-people. If anything, if the government’s rhetorics about decline in national revenue is anything to go by, the first step ought to have been pruning governance costs by timely steps such as placing all political office holders on same salary scheme with the civil servants, banning frivolous foreign trips including medical tourism and plugging several other holes of illicit financial flows in public service and governance.
‘’The selling of our national assets will only go to enrich a few privileged individuals to the detriment of the masses. The Buhari led government must, therefore, quash the obnoxious decision to sell Afam Power Plant immediately.
‘’The federal government should instead work out ways of improving the efficiency of the Power Plant and set it back on course to reassume the ennobling role that had informed its establishment in the first place.
‘’Indeed, Afam Power Plant like other national assets should be allowed to continue existing as national assets from which the masses derive pride.’’