Emir Sanusi is as stern as they come – 12 reasons we’re totally feeling his vibe

by Tolu Omoyeni

The Emir of Kano and former Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is resolute in his opinions on how the country should be run. When he speaks at public lectures, there’s always a rare bluntness to his tone and he serves his comments without fear or favour. His diagnostic approach to explaining the issues that affect us as a nation and how he dissects his proposed solutions in layman language is noteworthy. When an economist with broad experience and repute like the Emir speaks on economic issues, it’s only wise that we listen and take lessons. Considering the current deplorable state of our economy, we need all the advice we can get.

Here’s a list of some of the truths the Emir has shared recently and we completely agree with him:

About President Buhari’s administration and economic woes:

  1. “If this government continues to behave the way the last government behaved, we will end up where Jonathan ended. You may not like it but that is the truth and you have to listen. We created the recession we are in now and I hope the president won’t make the mistakes Jonathan made.”
  2. “We created billionaires from oil subsidies in the past. Now we are making the same mistake with Forex subsidies. As an Emir, I can sit in my garden and make a phone call to access $10m at 197 naira per dollar then sell it off at nothing less than 300 naira. With this, I make a profit of over a billion naira. This is what people are doing now. Any system that allows you it in your garden and make a billion naira without investing a kobo is a wrong system.”
  3. “Petroleum subsidy empowers a few 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.”
  4. “To get out of this recession, federal government must set the forex rate to incentivise capital inflows and catalyse FDI funding. The federal government must eliminate wasteful and abuse prone subsidies.”
  5. “Federal Government must re-prioritise public spending towards investment in human capital. If we do not expand the economy through wise investment, we can end up in a classical Malthusian situation.”

About public officers and funding public administration:

  1. “You sometimes wonder if anyone needs to tell a group of persons that you don’t need 36 governors, 36 deputy governors, each of them with commissioners, special advisers, a president, his vice and 36 ministers.”
  2. “If you have this structure, you are doomed to spend 80-90 percent of your earnings in maintaining these public officers.”
  3. “When I was CBN governor, I raised the point that 80 percent of government revenue was being used to maintain 1 million public officers leaving 20 percent for over 160 million Nigerians, my state governor reacted by saying the federal government was planning to recruit more people.”
  4. “We need to use basic common sense by tailoring our political system to the level of development and resources of the country.”
  5. “Nigeria must drop the habit of borrowing to pay salaries and service recurrent expenditures.”

In affirming his stance on governance in the country:

  1. “Look, I am not going to change. I am never going to be political. I will never tell people what they like to hear. There is nothing we are facing today that we did not know will happen. That is the truth. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate. We ignored every single warning.”
  2. “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.”


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