Atiku Abubakar

Segun Sowunmi, the spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, says the government has nothing to lose in the sale of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Earlier, Bismarck Rewane, chief executive of Financial Derivative, had asked who Atiku Abubakar plans to sell the NNPC to, should he become Nigeria’s president in 2019.

“I agree that he (Atiku) should privatise, but selling to who? You must not just say you are going to sell, you must tell us how, and to who?” Rewane asked.

“If you are going to have a voucher system like they have in India, where everybody in the public will have a voucher, then you can sell it.

“It is a noble idea, but it stops short of the specifics, tell us who and who, and how you are going to ensure that it is not sold to your own cronies.”

Responding to this at The Osasu Symposium held in Abuja on Thursday, Sowunmi said Atiku supervised the telecoms revolution, and he can do the same with the oil industry.

He assured Nigerians that the government has nothing to lose, but so much to gain from the sale.

“Someone has asked, who are we selling NNPC to; does Glo belong to a European, does Oando belong to a European?” Sowunmi said.

“What we are saying is this; the paradigm has to shift; we cannot run businesses as a government institution when what you are supposed to be is a regulator.

“You need to stick to one role. If you are going to be regulating, then stay on regulation. Let those with capacity to run business run business.

“And government loses nothing; in actual fact, government gets more revenue, the companies are well run, the companies can expand into other territories outside Nigeria to begin to hold value, and you can employ more people.

“And you can once and for all deal with a circle of corruption around the oil industry. It is about time we fixed that, and we are going to liberalise it.”

He said this was the same way the Obasanjo-Atiku admin was going to liberalise telecoms sector and faced a lot of opposition, but today, the country is better for it.

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