The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, on Wednesday, while delivering a lecture at the on-going 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning in Kano, warned the Federal Government against making the same mistakes that brought the country to the situation where it is now.
He said that the federal government is making the same mistake with FOREX subsidies it made with oil subsidies. He said oil subsidies created billionaires who did not invest any money at all.
See excerpts from his lecture below
Nigeria must drop the habit of borrowing to pay salaries and service recurrent expenditures.
There is nothing happening today that we didn’t forecast years ago because all actions have consequences.
Industrialisation potentials of Northern Nigeria was documented by Ahmadu Bello in 1962, 54 years after, there’s nothing to show.
We created billionaires from Oil Subsidies in the past. We are making the same mistake with Forex Subsidies.
As an Emir, I can sit in my garden and make phone calls to access $10M at N197 per $ then sell it off at nothing less than N300. With just a phone call, I’m making a profit of over a billion naira. That is what people are doing now.
Any system that allows you sit in your garden & make a billion naira without investing a Kobo is a wrong system.
We created the recession we are in now and I hope the President won’t make the mistakes Jonathan made.
We are not being sincere when we say we are in a recession because of the fall in oil prices. What happened to other sectors?
I understand it’s painful when we pay for expensive fuel but we must understand no system is perfect.
Petroleum subsidy empowers a small group of criminals rather than the poor masses it was meant for.
If you must subsidise anything, please it should be for production rather than consumption.
In 2011, we earned $16B from Oil revenues. $8b was spent for LCs while the remaining $8b was spent on subsidising fuel. We spent a whopping $8billion on subsidising fuel. Not a dime was spent on infrastructure, education or schools.
To get out of this recession: FG must set the FX rate to incentivise capital inflows, catalyse FDI & FDI funding. FG must set interest rates at levels that deter capital flight dollarization. FG must eliminate wasteful and abuse prone subsidies.
FG must address failure in the power sector value chain starting with the DISCOS. FG must digitise state land registries and streamline relevant legislations. FG must re-prioritize public spending towards investment in human capital. Lastly, the FG must protect infant industries specifically labour intensive manufacturing.
I’m a friend of this administration but if they decide to run Nigeria aground, I will become the opposition. You are not good friends if you sit down with Government officials and don’t tell them the truth. I will continue to say the truth.