When the Emir of Kano, Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi shared an Instagram post with a caption: “Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped”, not many could have guessed what he had coming.
In a series of posts, the former CBN governor and foremost economist has been sharing some truths about how a failing economy like Nigeria’s should be run.
If you think the man has been talking too much lately, you might want to stop for a minute and see some of his common sense lessons for the Nigerian government.
Hopefully, they’ll take his expert advice.
Here’s a few of them:
- When the minister is there, you tell them,”You know, Hon. Minister, Nigeria is very lucky to have you in office.” No! You tell the minister that you are doing well, but you know there are these areas that must change. If a policy is wrong, it is wrong. Nothing will make it right and it has to be changed.
- Somebody takes Moringa, packages it in a tin and gives it an English name. I was given at my friend’s house in Lagos and it was in a nicely packaged tin. It grows wildly here in the Northern part of the country and i did not know until i drank it, that it was Zogale, as it is called in the local language.
- If they had packaged it and called it Zogale, it would have been known as Zogale tea all over the world, just like people know coffee from Ethiopia. Now that its called Moringa, a Hausa man does not know it is the same thing that grows in his backyard, then he takes pound sterling to import Moringa tea.
- I will show you what countries like Kenya did which we didn’t do, and therefore Nigeria is right there in the low band and non-commodities Africa is in the upper band.
- Take a model that is investment-driven, rather than consumer or consumption-driven. Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt are at the very top. Angola and Nigeria are at the bottom. If you talk today in Africa, they will think Nigeria and Angola are the richest countries, because they are oil-producing. The truth is that we are the worst performers, in terms of investments to GDP.
- If you have a high investment to GDP, you will deliver high growth that is also inclusive. If you continue working on consumption and rent-seeking model, your growth is not inclusive, which is why in Nigeria, over the past two decades, is increasing income distribution inequalities. It is easy to be very rich based on rent.
- We have very many people in Nigeria who you think are very rich but who are really bankrupt. Everything about them are being financed by bank debts. When one debt matures, they have enough connections to call another bank, borrow and refinance that debt. They are not earning anything. They have yachts, private jets, their families travel first class, they stay in the most expensive hotels abroad. When you think about these people, do you think they are wise or foolish people? So, what would you say of a country that does this?
- So you feel growth by borrowing money, pay salaries, people spend money on pure consumption spending, nothing is produced. It’s fine. It’s short term. But, it’s not sustainable. How much can you continue to borrow and consume without producing?
- Who is advising the government? I have asked that question before. I want to know so i can talk to the adviser. You can’t be in a recession because a sector that is 15% of your GDP has been declined. What happened to agriculture, trade, services and health?
- For every $1 billion taken from the Federation Account and sold by the CBN at N200 to the dollar, the states were losing N100 billion that could have gone into salaries, agriculture, healthcare. Yet, the states were going to borrow from the same government on a bailout when the government was selling dollars cheaply to a small group of people. What kind of economy are we running?