By Levinus Nwabughiogu
The Federal Government is set to sell off all assets recovered in the course of the anti-corruption war within the next 6 months, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has said.
The implication of this is that many Nigerians, especially in the ruling class whose assets had been seized by the government, are likely to lose them.
Udo Udoma made the disclosure before the Joint Committees on Finance, Appropriation, Planning and Economic Development of the House of Representatives during a budget defence.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari, had directed the Ministry of Finance led by Zainab Ahmed to execute the order, saying the government was determined to improve on the revenue profile of the country.
He said: “The Ministry of Finance, working with all the relevant authorities, has been authorized to take action to liquidate all recovered, unencumbered assets within six months.”
The Minister also said that the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR had been directed to complete the collection of oil licences and royalties with three months.
“The Department of Petroleum Resources has been directed to, within three months, complete the collection of past-due oil license and royalty charges, including those due from Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) (a subsidiary of NNPC), which it had agreed to pay since 2017”, he said.
The minister also, noted that the President had directed that work should be concluded on the deployment of the National Trade Window to enhance customs collections efficiency from the current 64% to up to 90% over the next few years, while lamenting the inability of the government to achieve its target on revenue generation in 2018.
According to the minister, the failure was attributable to non-implementation of some one-off items which included the N710 billion from Oil Joint Venture Asset restructuring and N320 billion from the revision of the Oil Production Sharing Contract legislation/terms.
He said that the items had been rolled over to 2019.
Giving insights into the production quota agreed on by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Udoma informed that President Buhari had directed that all efforts should be made to ensure the realization of the 2.3 million per day oil production.
“Mr President has directed the NNPC to take all possible measures to achieve the targeted oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day”, he said.