The Federal Ministry of Finance has disclosed in a presentation by the nation’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed that the government intends to sell and concession government-owned properties and non-oil assets to serve as an additional source of funds for the year’s budget.
The presentation, titled, ‘Public Presentation of 2021 FGN Approved Budget – Breakdown and Highlights reveal that the government also plans to engage in domestic and foreign borrowings to fund the 2021 budget.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 31, 2020, signed the N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year – about N505 billion higher than the budget proposed in October 2020.
In the approved budget, about N496.5 billion was approved for statutory transfers and N3.3 trillion was approved for debt services.
he Debt Management Office, the government agency in charge of Nigeria’s debt profile, has released a breakdown of Nigeria’s external debt stock as of Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
The document containing the breakdown which was accessed by Legit.ng indicates that Nigeria’s total external debt stands at $31.98 billion. The loans were obtained from international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, and others.
Already, many have condemned the federal government’s consistent resolve to borrow to fund budgets annually. For this year, the government is to borrow N5.6 trillion from domestic and foreign resources. The amount being the total deficit for the 2021 budget.
This represents 3.93 per cent of the GDP.
“Sales of government property” and “non-oil asset sales” were listed under the “additional financing” section of the document. The ministry of finance says that this section reports how the deficit will be financed.
However, the document did not state the companies that have been put up for sale neither did it mention how much revenue is expected from the sales.
In November 2020, the Senate committee on privatisation said it was not aware of the government’s plan to sell or concession some national properties through the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE). This was during the agency’s 2021 budget defence session.
Documents presented to the committee showed plans by the federal government to sell the Integrated Power Plants in Geregu, Omotosho, and Calabar at N434 billion in 2021.
Also in the document were plans to concession the National Arts Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square, and all the River Basin Development Authorities at N836 million while the National Stadium in Lagos, the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, and two others were pegged for concessioning at N100 million.