By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ORGANISED Labour, yesterday, kicked against clamour for the sale of national assets such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and Nigeria Liquefied National Gas Company, NLNGC, among others, describing the calls as not only evil but, unpatriotic aimed at continuous enslavement of Nigeria.
Speaking through the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, led by Joe Ajaero, it warned that any attempt to sell the assets would be resisted as previous privatization exercises only made few privileged individuals to appropriate national assets to the detriment of the general masses.
In the statement by Ajaero, Labour noted that privatization exercise had failed woefully in Nigeria and the evidences abound throughout the country.
The statement reads: “Congress views with utmost apprehension the recent call on the Federal Government by some highly placed individuals to sell-off our priced national assets especially the Nigeria Liquefied National Gas Company to private entities. We were alarmed at the call but considered it inconsequential at that time but agreed to raise the red flag on it and watch events closely. Our fears have however rebounded greatly keeping us on our toes on reading the text of the welcome back address to the 8th Senate which has been on as usual unprofitable recess by its President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
“We assert that this call is contemptuous of the Nigerian nation and its suffering masses. To seek to sell our remaining national patrimony is to say the least an attempt to mortgage our collective future in favour of a few economic cannibals and Buccaneers who unconscionably have commandeered the Nigerian state and its levers of power with the hope of using it to hijack our national patrimony.”
Labour vowed that “Nigerian workers and masses cannot stand by and watch this group of jobbers whose source and history of wealth is well known to many Nigerians further plunge this nation deeper into the mud under the guise of seeking solutions for the perhaps contrived economic recession. Those whose actions in the past have all cumulated into the economic mess are now seeking avenues to offload and launder their stolen wealth.
“Historically, no nation has had to sell off its treasures as a means of resolving recession. A man that trades his house for food will have no place to stay after the hunger is assuaged. The idea of selling off assets such as the NNPC and by extension the nation’s holdings in the JVCs, the NLNG, shares in international financial institutions such as ADB and IFC are rather paradoxical. It amounts to mortgaging the future of our unborn generation so that few individuals can satisfy their yearnings to control our national patrimony.
“A sensible nation does not go on chest-thumping trying to sell its cash-cows or its performing assets in times of difficulties. These assets guarantees the nation’s present and future as it provides the much needed resources to continue running the nation.In Nigeria, we seem to have perfected the act of the absurd putting common sense and logic on its head all the time to our eternal detriment.”