Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the government is yet to decide on whether to sell some national asset as part of efforts to reflate the economy.
Mr. Mohammed stated this on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa Abuja, shortly after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, which held inside the council chamber.
While responding to inquiries from journalists regarding the ongoing interest generated by the asset sale plan, Mr. Mohammed said “government is still working on the most comprehensive manner to reflate the economy.”
He said the government will make its position known very soon.
He said reports that a decision was taken to sell asset by the Federal Government is mere speculation.
“What the government will do is to reflate the economy, everything you have heard so far is just suggestion, until the government makes its position known. All these reports of asset sale, asset leasing and whatever is being bandied about, are nothing but speculations.
“The government is yet to come out with its position on how to bail out the economy and it will take that position,” he said.
When informed that a meeting of the National Economic Council, NEC, that held last week has recommended asset sale, the Information Minister said “NEC will recommend but it is the Federal Executive Council that will decide and what we decide will be the position of government.”
Earlier, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, had told State House correspondents that the cabinet meeting approved three memoranda from his ministry.
He named the memoranda approved as those on National Water Policy, National Irrigation Policy, and a draft of a new National Water Resources Bill.
Mr. Adamu said the National Water Policy seeks to provide strategies that would improve the management and delivery of water resources in the country with particular reference to water supply.
He also said the new enabling law is the National Water Resources Bill, “ which consolidates all existing laws; the Water Resources Act; the River Basin Development Act; the National Water Resources Institute Act, the National Hydrological Services Act and other Acts put together to form the National Water law that conforms to international standards and best practices”.
He said by the new law, a proper regulatory agency will be set up that will regulate the water sector.
“With that the door is now open for the private sector to now come in a big way to invest in water supply schemes in this country,” he said.
Mr. Adamu said the irrigation and drainage policy that his ministry is putting in place seeks to recognize and bring in water users association and not only improve irrigation infrastructure, but irrigation management in the country.
“Nigeria has the potential of 3.41 million hectares of land for irrigation out of which only 330,000 has been developed formally and only about 70,000 is being utilized.
“There is a huge gap and introducing this policy will help us to work along with the state governments so that we can have an all-encompassing policy that will help drive our agricultural agenda,” he said.