The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to halt proposed sale of National Historical Assets to fund the 2018 budget.

Mr Yusuf Zambuk, the General Secretary, National Governing Council of AUPCTRE, made the appeal in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.

Zambuk said that the concept of funding national budget from sales of public assets was a “strange phenomenon in public administration,’’ particularly in budgeting.

According to him, national historical assets have immense and cultural significance to the nation, especially now that the Federal Government is focusing more on economic diversification.

He listed the affected historical assets to include the National Arts Theatre Iganmu, Lagos, and Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos among others.

The general secretary said AUCPTRE was concerned about the issue due to the fact that the union had its origin from patriotic struggles of organising workers employed in most public agencies such as the National Arts Theatre.

“Our attention has been drawn to the decision of the Federal Government to sell some National Historical Assets to fund the 2018 budget presently before the National Assembly. If the information is true, it is a strange phenomenon.

“When President Buhari came to power in 2015, his government made a statement that historical assets will not be sold for any reason to any private interest.

“The stand of government was widely supported by the generality of Nigerians in particular and by all patriotic Nigerians.

“We can, therefore, not rationalise the changes in government policy, in particular on sales of public assets to fund annual budget.

“In the light of above submission, we passionately appeal to President Buhari to intervene and stop the proposed sale of National Historical Assets and other national monuments to fund an annual budget,’’ Zambuk said.

He, therefore, advise the Federal Government to look inward and think of other sources that could fund the national budget without selling important assets.

Director-General of Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, told the House of Representatives Committee on Finance and Appropriation on Nov. 28, that the Federal Government had concluded plans to sell the Tafawa Balewa Square and the National Arts Theatre.

The aim is to generate sufficient revenue to finance the country’s annual budgets for the next three years (2018-2020).

(Source: NAN)