Olusegun Obasanjo, the Former President of Nigeria and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the 14th Emir of Kano,, have criticised Muhammadu Buhari’s spending practices.
In an interview with TheCable, Obasanjo expressed his concerns about Nigeria’s economy under Buhari’s administration. He pointed out that he wasn’t spending 90 per cent of revenue on service debts during his tenure, unlike the current situation where a significant portion of the budget goes towards debt servicing.
He went further to state, “Buhari was wasting money. I know Buhari didn’t understand economics. I put that in my book. But that he could also be so reckless, I didn’t know.”
When questioned about the increasing prevalence of military coups in Africa, Obasanjo labelled it as a new phenomenon on the continent. He emphasised that the Western-style liberal democracy might not be suitable for African nations and that there was a need to rethink democracy to adapt to African realities.
On the other hand, Emir Sanusi lamented the economic decisions made during Buhari’s administration. Speaking at a virtual religious summit, he criticised the government’s handling of the economy. He accused them of ignoring expert advice, the disparity in exchange rates, with “sycophants” buying dollars at a lower rate and selling them at a higher rate and also the borrowing undertaken by the government, stating that debt service exceeded 100 per cent of revenue.
Furthermore, Sanusi mentioned an “inexperienced boy” who acquired a private jet and properties in Dubai and England due to favourable exchange rates. He raised concerns about unsustainable borrowing practices, stating that there might come a time when the country cannot borrow any more money, leading to dire consequences.
Regarding President Bola Tinubu, Sanusi clarified that he wouldn’t accuse him of pushing Nigeria into difficulty but noted the financial challenges faced by the government, making it impossible to continue subsidizing essential services without raising taxes or printing more money.