Muhammad Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano, has raised the alarm over unfavourable economic policies leading the country to bankruptcy, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the fraudulent subsidy regime.
Sanusi, who was former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, made the revelation on Tuesday while speaking at the ongoing 3rd National Treasury Workshop organized by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation holding in Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano.
He said, “The country is bankrupt and we are heading for bankruptcy. What happened is that the federal government do pay petroleum subsidy, pay electricity tariff subsidy, and if there is a rise in interest rates, Federal Government pays.
“What is more life-threatening than the subsidy that we have to sacrifice education, health sector and infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum.
“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.”
“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.
“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 African continent. And Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will take the lead.
“Two days ago, I read that the percentage of the government’s revenue going to debt services has risen to 70 percent.
“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.”