Momoh Aliyu, a financial expert and Managing Director of Cyber1 Systems Network International, has backed decision by PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Mr Aliyu made his position known while reacting to statement credited to Atiku on his proposed plan to privatise the NNPC if elected president.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PDP’s flag bearer on Wednesday said that he would privatise the NNPC if elected, describing the state-owned oil firm as a “mafia organisation’’.
Mr Atiku, who spoke at an interactive session with the business community in Lagos, said that he would take the step even if doing so would cost him his life.
He explained that he sold the idea to former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he worked with as a deputy between 1999 and 2007.
According to him, the former president did not approve of it but he is convinced that NNPC will run better if not managed by the government.
The expert said that the privatisation of NNPC was long overdue but, however, doubted the integrity of Atiku in spearheading such process.
According to him, a country with population projected to double by 2050, and presently has many Nigerians that are unemployed should only focus on productivity.
Nigeria’s population is presently estimated at 180 million.
Mr Aliyu said the only panacea to productivity and job creation was to privatise and diversify the nation’s economy.
He said that the government would find it difficult to diversify conveniently because of its policies on public service which were critical to key sectors of the economy.
Mr Aliyu suggested that NNPC should be a regulatory body and not a commercial body.
“Now, this is a problem of personal integrity.
“Atiku who spare headed the sales of some national assets during Obasanjo’s regime as vice president, how successful was the exercise under his watch.’’
The managing director noted that direct appointment of the head of Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE, by the presidency was hindering independent decision and transparency in the system.
This he said would give room for any president in power to directly influence contract and sales bidding for their favourites.