On October 20, 2020,  we wrote about how Nigeria may be moonwalking into a debt trap as a result of reckless policies. On October 21, The Punch reported that the Federal Government may now be thinking about new ways to fund the national budget.

Nothing is official yet, but sources at the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning reported that the government plans to sell or concession more than 25 key assets. A concession is when the government lets private individuals take control of a national asset for a specified purpose and period.

The move to sell or concession is one of the government’s efforts to fund the ₦10‎.7 trillion deficit of the 2023 budget. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that our government is broke.

So, what are the assets that the government plans to sell, or concession?

Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS)

TBS [Image Source: The Guardian]

Originally known as The Lagos Race Course, Oba Dosunmu of Lagos handed the 14.5-hectare property to the British colonial authorities in 1859. The military government of Yakubu Gowon reconstructed it in 1972 and renamed it the Tafawa Balewa Square. It’s famous for hosting Independence Day parades and concerts in Lagos. 

National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP)

[Image source: The Guardian]

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo created the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) in 2004  to address the problem of insufficient power generation. We can tell you the projects haven’t been completely successful because we still shout “Up NEPA” 18 years later.

To fund the 2023 budget, the FG now plans to sell or concession the power projects namely: Olorunsogo, Calabar II, Benin, Omotosho II and Geregu II plants.

Hydro power plants

Hydro power plants in Nigeria are also on the chopping block of the government’s fire sale.The plants in Oyan, Lower Usuma, Katsina-Ala and Giri plants could fall into private hands soon. The sapa season is truly upon us.

What other assets are on the chopping block?

The government is exploring ways to increase revenue from assets like the Abuja Water Board, the National Theatre and the Lagos International Trade Fair.

The Federal Government’s plan is to offer these assets to investors for equity while others will be totally sold to reduce waste. 

Will the sale happen?

What we do know is the government has been trying to offload these assets for years, so it’s possible the sale or concessioning won’t happen as usual.

Still, it reflects the harshness of our current economic realities. We wonder what they’ll sell next: the National Assembly? Aso Rock? Who knows?



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