Why Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun’s Asset Sale Saudi Comparison Is Bankrupt

Kemi Adeosun


No kidding, Nigeria’s finance minister Kemi Adeosun just compared Nigeria’s proposed sale of assets to the Saudi plan to sell 5% or Aramco (Saudi Arabian Oil Co). I’ll list below 10 differences that seriously highlight the misgivings in the finance minister’s sales pitch:

1. Saudi Arabia plans to sell just 5% of its oil assets while maintaining an overwhelming 95% majority, while Nigeria has not indicated a plan to sell such a little fraction of each asset but to give them out whole.

2. Saudi Arabia is not selling from a position of desperation and inability to manage the assets but from a position of strength and at top price for assets properly operated and exploited.

3. While Nigeria only intends to auction its assets to fund its budget, the Sauds intend to auction 5% of Aramco to fund a visionary masterplan long-term reform programme, dubbed “Saudi Vision 2030,” with the $2 trillion funds from the sale, planned to set up the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund capable of buying Apple, Microsoft, Google parent, Alphabet Inc and FaceBook. These two agendas can clearly not be compared on any scale.

4. Saudi Arabia actually also has a balancing budget problem, but is not selling a fraction of its oil asset for this purpose.

5. Nigeria has a poor record of privatization, or better put, cabalization of its assets.

6. Nigeria has several options to recover several times more in billions of dollars from looted funds and funds given to banks than the paltry $15 billion its asset sales can furnish. Asset sale should only be considered after these avenues have been exhausted. Saudi Arabia does not have that option for the desired funds it seeks.

7. While the Saudi plan was conceived by its government officials with careful thought and a long-term vision, Nigeria’s knee-jerk proposal to sell its assets was dictated upon the government by its cabal.

8. While Saudi Arabia intends to utilize its proceeds in a sovereign fund, and to make investments globally, Nigeria’s asset sale is for local use: to fund its budget and pay salaries. The result of this internal cash dump will only increase inflation.

9. Why and since when did Saudi Arabia become a template for Nigeria to stencil its development/recovery strategies?

And finally, what is the rational in comparing Nigeria to Saudi Arabia on a proposal the Saudis have not yet put into action and that has not yet proven valuable dividends? Records and examples of successes if such exist, of selling nations to the cabal, should be used for comparison and not plans that have not yet come to fruition.

We can compare for instance with the USA, its history of Robber Barons when the cabal owned it all and the labour union riots broke out; or the current situation of 99% and 1%, Wall street ownership of the bulk of the US economic opportunities. Similarly we can compare with the French revolution when the cabal owned it all and the statement attributed to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “having nothing left to eat, we will eat the rich,” was made.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian