“The president needs help on the economy and it is extremely important to understand that even if you have security, even if you fight corruption, you still need to have jobs, power, you still need to build agriculture, attract investments and that cannot be done if we continue dismissing the view of investors and foreigners who want to bring money into this country.” ========== Emir of Kano and a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II.
Speaking at a ceremony in Lagos last Thursday night, Emir Sanusi asked: “Does it make sense at this time for the government to continue paying petroleum subsidies? It does not! When you are not earning because oil prices are down, you have to shut down those expense lines that had been known historically to be the site of rent-seeking. Fuel subsidy has to go, our tax base has to expand, value added tax (VAT) has to go up. We can’t continue having an economy in which we collect tax from oil, collect tax from telecoms companies, and then 60-70 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) does not pay taxes. This is something that has to be looked at.”
The Emir continued: “I know that the government has announced its position on exchange rate, subsidy and as you all know, I am a very strong supporter of this administration. I would like this administration to succeed. But a friend does not tell the government what it wants to hear. A friend tells the government when he feels it is wrong. So, it is wrong to continue with the fuel subsidy. It is wrong to continue to pretend that you can keep the naira at a certain level, when the price of oil is falling, without depleting your reserves. You have to make a choice.”
And then the warning: “If we continue along this trajectory, with the weak balance sheet of government and a tight monetary policy, in the face of falling oil prices, we are setting the economy up for a long period of very low growth and we cannot afford that given our population and given our growth rate…The president needs help on the economy and it is extremely important to understand that even if you have security, even if you fight corruption, you still need to have jobs, power, you still need to build agriculture, attract investments and that cannot be done if we continue dismissing the view of investors and foreigners who want to bring money into this country.”
Like the erudite Olusegun Adeniyi, I belong to the school of thought that believe that Emir Sanusi has performed a public service by helping to start a conversation on the choices we have to make at a very critical time in the life of our nation. “And I believe that in so doing, the Emir has actually been of much help to President Buhari and his administration.”
However, it is evident that based on the philosophy of President Buhari on state intervention, he does not share this view. There is no area of our national life where this much is evident than in the oil and gas sector that is in dire need of critical reforms.
It is exactly five months and two days that President Buhari was sworn-in yet if you speak to many business people, including the most ardent supporters of the president, what you hear are concerns about some of his policy choices even if they don’t say so publicly like the Emir of Kano has done.”
It will thereforeserve President Buhari well to understand that we are at a very critical moment where the choices he makes (or refuses to make) would have consequences that could last several decades.
BABA GO-SLOW (A Poem by Engr Martin Onovo)
Time is passing
Baba is sleeping
Only fake anti-corruption
Political vendetta it is
Fuel scarcity is back
Stock market is crashing
Inflation is increasing
Unemployment is increasing
Poverty is increasing
Crime is increasing
Boko haram is killing
The lying liars are lying
The wailing wailers are wailing
The working workers cant work
As Baba has no direction
Baba Wake up!
Baba Wake up ooh!!
God help us!!!
DISCLAIMER : Opinion articles are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers of ElombahNews!
Would you like to be receiving ALL ElombahNews links ‘On The Go’ on WhatsApp Or Telegram? If yes, join us here on WhatsApp or Telegram, or provide us your Telephone number via firstname.lastname@example.org or sms/inbox +2349050382526 and you are good to go!
DOWNLOAD ElombahNews mobile app here
Send eyewitness accounts/ reports/ articles to email@example.com; follow us on twitter @ElombahNews; like our Facebook page ElombahNews