On Selling Of Benue State Assets – By Shaapera Sekegh Moses
I read in the vanguard news online that Benue state will be placing some asset on sale, the assets to be sold includes:
- Modern Market Makurdi.
- Benue Link’s Ltd.
- Mega Foods and Beverages processing Tomato Factory company LTD Wannune.
- Katsina-Ala Yam Four Factory.
- Otukpo Burnt Bricks.
- ADC Makurdi.
- Fertilizer Blending Co. Ltd.
- Bankims Plastic Co.
- Benue Fruit Juice co Makurdi.
- Taraku Mills.
- Benco Roof Tiles Makurdi.
The reason for the sale is still not stated but source who reached out to Shaapera92.com said the move may be connected with the efforts by the Benue state Government to raise fund in order to clear worker’s salaries.
Why not set up a think tank of highly intelligent and business savvy people; may be 5 or 6 to come up with proposals on how to turn those moribund assets to cash cows rather selling them off out rightly?
~I think we should start by looking at the philosophy of selling those assets, while Hon. Dr Suswam was in office (2011-2015) Suswam; the then executive governor of the state, was also faced with the challenge of funding the salary issues, and executing capital projects but for once he never contemplated selling the assets of the state. If then, Suswan had sold Benue hotels, commissioners quarters, Kaduna Plaza, international market, and all the liaison offices of the state in diaspora what would the present administration have to sell? Perhaps Benue state university, Benue Polytechnic, Benue state university Teaching hospital and the few existing assets.
~Secondly if the government goes ahead to sell the assets mentioned above to finance Salary issues, what will the government sell in 2019 to finance the 2019 Salaries? Perhaps we might need to sell the government house and the revenue house to do just that.
~Thirdly do unto yourself what you will do unto others- why must the government sell other peoples legacy and preserve her own. The government should put the Revenue house, and the new office complex for the ministry of transport for sale also!
Lets us go to the economics of selling the assets.
~To think or allude that the assets are not contributing economic value to the state is false and shows lack of economic insight, those assets even if nothing are store of wealth for the state- they keep increasing in value every year. You can’t compare the price or value of those assets in the last ten years to what they are today, living it further only increase the value in real terms.
~The assets themselves are not the problem – they are no problem for there own sake – they can only constitute economic loss because of the action of the state government on it. If the assets are not contributing anything economically it simply implies the government is not contributing anything toward the assets in terms of ideas, investment and marketing. In other words Benue is not poor because of those assets or at the expense of the assets rather the assets are wasting or depleting because Benue governors over time are lacking in ideas and vision to utilize the assets productively.
~The state government expended billions of naira to build a revenue house, but the governor had the option of converting the Benue investment office right in front of the Benue investment company LtD to a revenue house and save the billions of naira committed to building the new revenue house, again the new transport complex could have been transferred to Benue hotel, making this two moves would have save the state over N2billion.
~Why should the state sell the liaison office in Kaduna? To do that is to throw a golden opportunity in to the gutters. The state needs that asset and generation to come needs it, how can you have such asset in the second largest economy in Africa and want to sell it, How could you have an assets close to the largest sea port in West Africa and want to sell it? – Or am I dreaming? Seriously! The state government should convert the asset in Wannue into an industry and start production immediately; doing so will not only increase the IGR of the state but also employ among the teeming millions of youth roaming the street in Benue state. There is an agglomeration between Lagos states and Ogun state, industries are everywhere the state government can tap from the endless opportunity.
~That Confluence Benue Fruit Juice should immediately be converted to a Water Solution industry where the state can make the purest bottle water in Africa, produce Drip water for medical needs, produce hydrogen water, produce Mineral Water, produce Distilled water, produce saline water and all other water related production. Millions of gallons of water is flowing behind that edifice and is wasting.
~Covert the Otukpo Burnt Bricks to an industry- perhaps a garment industry, 30% of our non-oil export in Nigeria is from the garment industry. We need a lot of industries covert all those moribund assets into export industries. We desperately need industries in and outside Benue state that is the only way to salvage the state-why is the state government afraid of industries? It doesn’t kill! In the last two years the state had a cash flow of about N220billion yet we don’t even manufacture a sachet of pure water! Yet we say we are looking for revenue and we want the youths to be employed. Converting those moribund asset to export industries will increase the IGR in foreign currency and employ thousands of unemployed youths within the state.
~Lastly let us go back to the adage of our fore father’s-“cut your clothe according to your size”! Governor Ortom can start payment of Salary from 2-Months and be pending for Federal allocation, Beside We have a small and a big budg if you do not have the capacity to clear salary issue then start from a small payment, what is the point writing a budget that you lack the capacity to match its revenue. A big budget is not by force! Stick to what you can afford or else you will look wasteful and very prodigal. That the government has run out of ideas on what to do with the asset does not mean it is the end! The coming generation will make something good out of it without putting it for sale.
Shaapera sekegh Moses
Activist: Benue Concern Youths.
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