THE federal government has revealed its plans to sell more public assets this year in order to fund this year’s budget, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, revealed in a presentation on Tuesday this week.
The Minister, according to a report by Premium Times, had on Tuesday revealed to stakeholders in a presentation titled; ‘Public Presentation of 2021 FGN Approved Budget – Breakdown and Highlights’, that the N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year would also be funded by revenues derivable from the sale public assets.
While the Buhari government had noted while signing the 2021 budget on December 31, 2020 that the budget would be funded by monies to be borrowed from the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and other countries, other sources of financing the budget, according to the Finance Minister’s Tuesday presentation, include the selling and concessioning of public properties and non-oil assets.
According to the Premium Times report, “‘sales of government property’ and ‘non-oil asset sales’ were listed under the ‘additional financing’ section of the document. This section shows an overview of how the deficit will be financed.”
While the Minister did not name the assets to be sold, or reveal the amount to be derived from the expected sale, there had been speculations in the course of the budget defence at the Senate late last year that the government had planned to sell-off or concession some public assets.
Assets speculated to have been pencilled down for sale include the Integrated Power Plants in Geregu, Omotosho, and Calabar at N434 billion, while those planned to be concessioned include the National Arts Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square, National Stadium, all in Lagos; the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, and all the River Basin Development Authorities.