- Africa's richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has dismissed insinuations that he wants to buy Nigeria's assets
- Dangote made the clarification following rumours that he is interested in the assets
- He had earlier called for the federal government to sell some national assets
Alhaji Aliko Dangote has dismissed insinuations that his advocacy for the sale of Nigeria's assets was because he is interested in buying them.
Dangote, who spoke in an exclusive interview with Thisday, stated that if the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company or any other national asset was offered to him, even on credit, he would not buy them.
He said his advise to the government to sell some of its interest in the national assets was to help boost the economy as well as to stabilise the naira exchange rate.
He said he the advice because he is a true Nigerian who really wants the issues about the economy to be sorted out.
His words: “You know the issue, once your reserves are low, the banks, entrepreneurs, including external forces, would definitely attack your currency. They would speculate on your currency.
“We all know that the exchange rate of almost N500 to the dollar is not a true reflection of the value of the currency – the naira cannot be almost N500 to the dollar!
“But you see, if this thing is not handled properly, it can get out of hand. It can get to N600 to the dollar, or even N700 to the dollar.
“But the issue is, why did I suggest that we should sell some of the assets? I know the touchy one is the NLNG. I want to make it categorically clear that even if the government is selling NLNG on credit, I am not interested in buying.
“I don’t have any interest in NLNG and I will not buy it. It is not a business that I want to invest in. It is a mature business; that is what people don’t understand.
“You see, we should have invested heavily in all these Brass LNG, Olokola LNG, etc, when former President Olusegun Obasanjo started work on the projects, but we missed the opportunity.
“Today, you have massive LNG projects that have been done by Qatar, Australia and the United States is also exporting. But right now, all the gas that we have is even in the ground. Even Mozambique has a massive amount of gas and also Tanzania, and they are nearer to the markets than we are.
“So, if somebody is even going to invest in LNG, he would go to those areas and invest there and not here in Nigeria, because the investment here daunting. So my own suggestion is that even if we must sell, it doesn’t have to be 100 per cent of our interest in NLNG.”
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On Tuesday, September 27, the Nigerian Senate voted against the planned sale, with the Nigerian senators urging the government to find another way to generate funds to tackle the recession.
Already, the organized labour consisting of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria said they are set for mass revolt and civil unrest worse than the anti-SAP riots of 1989 if the government goes ahead with the planned sale.