Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, has made it clear again that he would privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation even if it will cost him his life.
The opposition PDP candidate made the vow again on Wednesday while addressing the business community in Lagos.
Brushing aside the controversy generated when he first made the promise, he repeated: “I am committed to privatising NNPC, I said it.
“I swear, even if they are going to kill me, I will do it.”
Abubakar also said his emergence in power would lead to prosperity.
He said: “I am also not going to enrich members of my family but my friends.
“Are my friends not entitled to be enriched?
“As long as there is no element of corruption there.”
The plan to privatise the state oil company and sell the four refineries had earlier been criticised by stakeholders and financial experts, including the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane.
Rewane had asked the candidate to tell Nigerians who he wanted to sell the NNPC to and how he intends to go about it.
He said: “I agree that the NNPC should be privatised, but selling to who?”
“You must not just say you are going to sell, you must tell us how, and to who?
“Tell us who and who, and how you are going to ensure that it is not sold to your own cronies.
“One of the big risks of privatisation is the Russian model, where you have chronic capitalism.
“If you have businessmen, who are in government like Donald Trump, you want to make sure that both the government and the people are protected from conflicts of interest.”
Rewane called on the Abubakar to guard against selling to “your own cronies” in the name of privatisation.
Established in 1977, the NNPC is the oil corporation through which the Federal Government regulates and participates in the country’s petroleum industry.
It by law manages the joint venture between the Federal Government and a number of foreign multinational corporations.