A coalition of civil society members have formed a group under the umbrella of the Movement Against Privatisation to resist the sale of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and other national assets by any government.
According to the group, since the idea of selling national assets ,such as NITEL , National Fertilizer, NEPA, steel companies and several others did not favour the masses in past, there should be no reason to consider selling for now.
The group, which threatened to mobilise Nigerians if any government decides to consider selling NNPC, said it would go further than mobilising Nigerians should there be any attempt to sell public assets, but would also go to court and stop it.
In a press statement signed by the Secretary General, Usman Dabo, the group said part of the reasons for coming together to form the movement was to ensure that it protects innocent Nigerians from being deceived or hoodwinked to believe that privatisation of public assets was the only solution to effective production and adequate supply of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as Petrol.
The statement further reads, “We formed the Movement Against Privatisation because cannot afford to adopt a ‘sit down and look’ approach and watch our sensitive companies that touch live of Nigerians in almost all ramifications to be out sold under any guise by selfish politicians and their cronies.
“No sensitive leader and government will consider selling a critical national oil company such as NNPC limited especially, considering the monopoly of price involved in such companies.
“We have watched and listened to all the presidential candidates and observed that most of the presidential candidates appeared to be talking in favour of privatisation and this we would vehemently resist.”
It however described as unfortunate the situation where the crop of presidential candidates are not talking about creating policies that would encourage both local and international investors to invest in building new refineries.
Stressing that “this is why we are crying out loud now to anyone that will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari to know early enough that this movement is out to resist any attempt to auction NNPC and other public assets.
“We have put up structures across the 36 states of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to mobilise civil society organisations, traders, students and other Nigerians to return to the street for the mother of all protests, if there is any government that mutes the idea of sale of public assets.”
Meanwhile, the group which threw its weight behind complete removal of subsidy disclosed that, “we have set up a special unit to begin a process of sensitisation with a clear message of ‘Don’t Sell NNPC’ in particular, but open windows for individuals to invest in private refineries, so doing, there would be opportunities to tackle the problem of perennial scarcity, create employment , transfer technology, expand scope of industrial growth and development.
“This group insists that whoever wins the elections should leave the existing refineries to operate as a government entity and create policies that will be friendly to investors.”