The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has warned of a looming bankruptcy consequent on some awful economic decisions made by President Muhammad Buhari.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hit the President saying, continuous payment of fuel subsidy, subsidising electricity tariffs amounted to fraud as such decisions were affecting all other sectors of the economy.
“If truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime which is fraudulent,” he said.
Sanusi spoke on Tuesday during the ongoing 3rd National Treasury Workshop organized by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation holding Kano.
While admitting that his audience might be shocked at his outpouring, Sanusi said, “since I have decided to come here, you have to accept what I have said here. And please, if you do not want to hear the truth, never invite me.”
“The country is bankrupt and we are heading to bankruptcy. What happened is that the Federal Government do pay petroleum subsidy, pay electricity tariff subsidy, and if there is rise in interest rates, Federal Government pays.
“What is more life-threatening than subsidy that we have to sacrifice education, health sector and infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum.
“And then, you continue subsidizing petroleum products; and spending N1.5 trillion per annum on petroleum subsidy! And then we are subsidizing electricity tariff. And maybe, you have to borrow from the capital market or the Central Bank of Nigeria to service the shortfall in the electricity tariff, where is the money to pay salaries, where is the money for education, where other government projects.
He maintained that it was necessary to talk about the state of the nation’s economy.
He continued, “So let us talk about the state of public finance in Nigeria. We have a number of very difficult decisions that we must make, and we should face the reality. His Excellency, the President said in his inaugural speech that his government would like to lift 100 million people out of poverty, it was a speech that was well received not only in this country, but the world-wide.
“The number of people living with poverty in Nigeria are frightening. By 2050, 85 percent of those living in extreme poverty in the world will be from the Africa continent. And Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will take the lead.
Meanwhile, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said the overall objective of the workshop was to promote accountability and transparency in all facets of the nation’s public finance and management architecture.
The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, who was also at the event identified corruption as the bane of the country’s economic woes.
He warned public and private office holders to desist from corrupt practices, stating that “transparency and accountability are twin sisters of good governance. They are the tools to tackle corruption. It is true that we can leave a good legacy.”
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