By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has commended the decision of federal government to privatise the refineries and some public assets, saying that the decision is better late than never.
The Waziri Adamawa had ceaselessly called for the sale of several government assets. He said that experience has shown that government lacks the skills and tact to profitably manage public utilities. He said that such facilities had often turn to conduit pipes for siphoning funds.
Atiku had received a lot of bashing for his position and was accused of attempting to mortgage the country by lobbying to buy off those properties using proxies.
But following the recent disclosure by President Muhammad Buhari’s administration on plans to sell some of the refineries, Atiku in a statement on Sunday by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, expressed pleasure at the development.
He said, “For decades, I have championed the privatisation of our economy and full deregulation of our oil and gas sector, amongst other sectors, for greater service delivery and efficiency.
“As chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, I advanced these policies which saw our economy achieve 6% GDP growth and created jobs for the masses of our people, and amass the national wealth that enabled us exit the debt trap, and secure our financial independence.
“Even though my ideas were scorned by the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government over the years, I am nevertheless most fulfilled that an administration that once failed to see the wisdom in these sound economic policies, is now facing reality and has now embraced reason, by announcing the privatisation of our refineries and other assets, which have not always prospered under public management.
“It is always better late than never. And I commend the Federal Government for coming on board. I urge that the privatisation process be as transparent as possible, as that is the only way to ensure that Nigeria reaps the greatest economic benefits from this policy.
“It was never about me. My interest has always been the peace, prosperity and progress of Nigeria, and I am happy to share these ideas, and others, with the government of the day, for the betterment of our nation and its people”.