• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Digging Nigeria out of her present economic problems: The Sanusi advisory

Digging Nigeria out of her present economic problems: The Sanusi advisory

“I am also pleading with commoners to live according to their earnings; we must not peg our lives above our earnings in this difficult situation where people are looking for what to eat – Sanusi Lamido Sanusi , the 14th Emir of Kano.

How did we get here:

The government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has just done about 100 days at Aso Rock Villa according to the 14th Emir of Kano. The seating president should not be blamed for the country’s problems, instead we should look 16 years down the line and point accusing fingers at some institutions especially the National Assembly which Sanusi accused of gulping up 25% of national revenue many years ago , a situation that may have gotten worse.

The former CBN Governor told us that the National Assembly is our number one money gulper. In a public hearing at the national assembly Sanusi said “I confirm Mr. Chairman that I did say in my speech at the Igbinedion University that 25 percent of the overhead of the Federal Government goes to National Assembly. I have figures from the Office of Budget for the year 2010. Total government overhead is N536, 268, 49, 280. Total overhead of the National Assembly is N136, 259, 768, 112 which is exactly 25.1 percent of Federal Government overhead. The overhead of the National Assembly as a percentage of the Federal Government budget in 2009 was 19. 87 %and in 2008 was 14.19%.

Read also: Obasanjo, Sanusi criticise Buhari weak fiscal decisions

Zero Growth prospect:

Said Sanusi “I think it was important for us to say what context that statement was made. I was giving a public lecture on the growth prospect of the Nigerian economy, I talked about financial plans, economic policies, banking system and government finances and as the Finance Minister Mr. Olusrgun Aganga has mentioned. If you look at the structure of government financing especially in 2008 and 2009, we have had a rapid increase in recurrent expenditure and decline in capital expenditure. I was warning against this.

The situation since a decade ago has not improved rather more money is been spent on unproductive government recurring ventures. Now joining the national assembly as a major gulper of our revenue is debt servicing and interest rates payment as albatross for national development.

Speaking on the same subject over a decade later Sanusi said everything in Nigeria in the last eight years was done with debts. The former governor said it would be unfair for him to criticize President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the country’s economic hardship. Mr Sanusi, further said Nigerians who expected him to speak about the economic hardship deliberately wanted him to oppose the president.

Sanusi said the Buhari administration ignored his advice on how to take Nigeria out of its economic woes , he said economists with a fair sense of reasoning know that the current administration has made the right decision (fuel subsidy removal) to save Nigeria from the bondage of debts caused by the past administration. He reminded us that he has over the years, talked about the pending crisis ahead of the current economic hardship but we turned the blind eye. Any economist who has studied monetary policy in the last eight years knows that Nigerians will fall into this difficult situation.

Sanusi said “The difficult situation Nigerians are facing is just the beginning (if the right decision is not put in place) because Nigeria is not exceptional; such situations happened in Germany, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Sanusi insists we must learn from their missteps and do what is right as a nation and people.

Sanusi said “If I am to be fair and just to President Bola Tinubu, he is not to be blamed for the current hardship; for eight years, we were living on a fake lifestyle with huge debt from foreign and domestic debts. The Central Bank of Nigeria owes over N30 trillion, which resulted in debt service surpassing 100 per cent. He noted that in the last eight years the Central Bank continues to print more money, and the Naira continue to depreciate. There is too much naira in circulation because the CBN is printing the currency without restraint.

Said Sanusi “I can only plead with the people to endure the hardship, and those who have the means to help the downtrodden should do.

Read also: Nigeria led a false life in the last 8 years – Sanusi

The way forward:

Government has done well by removing subsidy but the debt portfolio seems very huge and we do not know how the government intends to deal with this problem. Recent news report shows debt servicing gulped 99% of government revenue. Therefore government needs to look inward and commence strategic steps to bring our debt profile to manageable level while ensuring important social infrastructure are not abandoned.

Ministries and some departments of government that are carrying out related responsibilities that need to be emerged must be so treated in other to make the cost of governance affordable.

In the midst of this, government must not turn a blind eye towards corruption and mismanagement of public funds.We must face our future with courage.

 

Michael Umogun is a Chartered Marketer with interest in public policy.