Atiku Celebrates, Says Vindicated by Buhari’s Planned Sale of Refineries, Other Assets

*One of Nigeria's non-performing refineries. Inset: President Muhammadu Buhari (r) and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar (l).
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*Former VP insists it’s better late than never

By Ngozi Ekhator

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has scored the planned privatization of Nigerian refineries, saying, though late, the step has vindicated his decades held position that privatization and deregulation of the oil and gas sector remained the best option.

Atiku, who made his position known in a statement, said: “For decades, I have championed the privatisation of our economy and full deregulation of our oil and gas sector, amongst other sectors, for greater service delivery and efficiency.

“As chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, I advanced these policies which saw our economy achieve 6% GDP growth and created jobs for the masses of our people, and amass the national wealth that enabled us exit the debt trap, and secure our financial independence.

“Even though my ideas were scorned by the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government over the years, I am nevertheless most fulfilled that an administration that once failed to see the wisdom in these sound economic policies, is now facing reality and has now embraced reason, by announcing the privatisation of our refineries and other assets, which have not always prospered under public management.

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“It is always better late than never. And I commend the Federal Government for coming on board. I urge that the privatisation process be as transparent as possible, as that is the only way to ensure that Nigeria reaps the greatest economic benefits from this policy.

“It was never about me. My interest has always been the peace, prosperity and progress of Nigeria, and I am happy to share these ideas, and others, with the government of the day, for the betterment of our nation and its people”, he added.

 

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