Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised the Federal Government to privatize the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to end ‘the monumental fraud’ in the oil sector.
He said he would have privatised the company 20 years ago if he had the faintest idea that it was going to be used as a conduit to syphon public fund by succeeding administrations.
Obasanjo who was speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day maritime stakeholders conference organized by the Ministry of Transportation and its agencies in Lagos yesterday, also advised the Federal Government not to buy a new national carrier, stressing that it should be private sector driven.
Speaking of the telecommunication sector, Obasanjo said, “I had to struggle for almost four years to get telephone lines to half a million as Nigeria’s military head of state and it did not work. But when I came back, we had over 1.5 million lines. We have to think out of the box.”
The Ex-President said until the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) became a place where people were stealing money, nobody knew of it, but that right now people would say make me NIMASA DG.
He said the nation had seen what privatization could do for its economy. “With our experience in NLNG and the telecommunication sector, let us adapt and adopt,” he said.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, said the previous administration failed not because there were no laws but that rather, the will to enforce the laws was not there.