The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has cautioned the Federal Government against selling profitable oil and gas assets as scrap to fund the 2018 budget.
The trade union expressed its support to other models of funding the budget aside from selling the oil and gas assets, and called on the National Assembly to reject the proposal as it had done in the past, because the plan was not in the national interest.
Reacting to a report on the plans by the government to sell the oil and gas assets to fund the budget, the National Public Relations Officer, PENGASSAN, Fortune Obi, noted that the idea was rejected by majority of Nigerians when it was first mooted in 2016.
Obi described the plan to sell national assets in the oil and gas industry to fund the budget as a way of handing over “our collective commonwealth to a few individuals and further impoverish majority of Nigerians.”
He advised that instead of selling the assets, the government should look for other ways of funding the budget such as plugging loopholes and leakages in its finances.
Obi stated, “We will not allow the commonwealth of the country to be given away to cronies of the government all in the name of sale of the assets in the industry to fund the budget.
“The government should critically evaluate the assets to look at their viability and profitability. Profitable assets such as the NLNG and shares in the upstream oil and gas JV operations that have become a huge revenue earner for the country should be kept by the government to the benefit of the Nigerian majority.
“We also advise the government to endeavour to repair assets that are in state of disrepairs but not to sell them as scrap to some opportunists in the cloak of businessmen and short-sighted politicians.”