Tackle fuel subsidy, debt servicing, others, or Nigeria will be bankrupted – Sanusi to Buhari
The Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II says the financial health of Nigeria is at risk and the country is heading towards bankruptcy.
Sanusi disclosed this during the third national treasury workshop held at the Kano State Government House on Wednesday.
He stressed that factors including fuel subsidy, debt servicing, and demurrage among other economic policies which he described as “unfavourable economic policies,” are consuming revenue of the nation.
“In 2011, when I was CBN governor, we spent $8bn importing petroleum and spent another $8.2bn subsidising the product
“100% of what we earn in the oil sector went out to import petrol. You are treasurers, is this sustainable?
“The country will be bankrupted and we are heading to bankruptcy,” the Emir warned.
Sanusi said further that, “For the Federal Government to place itself in a position where, (in finance you all know this is what we call a naked edge), the price of crude oil and petroleum products goes up, the Federal government pays, exchange rate moves, the Federal Government pays, interest rate moves, the Federal Government pays, demurrage, the Federal Government pays.
“What is so life-threatening about petroleum price that we have to sacrifice education, sacrifice health sector and sacrifice infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum? And risk the financial health of the country.”
The former CBN boss advised that if truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime.
He said the President must tell Nigerians the facts about the economic situation and act promptly to address it.
Sanusi also lamented over the number of Nigerians living in poverty and expressed worry about the state of public finance in the country.
“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.
“It is a difficult decision, but if the president really wants to deal with poverty, he has to deal with this first. He has to tell Nigerians, that they have to be ready, if the international price of fuel goes up, people must be ready to pay more. If it goes down, people will benefit. We have to be responsible; this is what happens everywhere in the world.