Emir of Kano and former governor of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) Muhammadu Sanusi II on Wednesday had said on Wednesday that Nigeria is experiencing economic recession due to the implementation of a “foolish, unsustainable and unrealistic” policy.
The Emir wondered why anyone would be shocked that the country is “bankrupt”, adding that the refusal of the elite to pay attention all these years led us down the drain.
Sanusi said this while delivering a lecture on deregulating of the downstream oil sector and Nigeria’s economic development at the National Defence College in Abuja.
“Nigeria is bankrupt; we are bankrupted by a policy that was foolish, that was unsustainable and unrealistic, and by all means our refusal over the years to pay attention,” he said.
“We are shocked that we have an economic recession; we are literally surprised that we are in recession? We created the recession.
“The oil sector is barely 15 per cent of GDP, yet oil accounts for 70% of government revenues, oil accounts for 99% of our foreign earnings.
“We got to a point when although the numbers were staring us in the face, the whole nation was in denial. When I became governor of central bank in 2009, the Nigerian government spent N291 billion that year subsidizing petroleum products.
“Two years later in 2011, N2.13 trillion was spent on the same subsidy, therefore has our population multiplied tenfold? It was very clear that this wasn’t oil subsidy; it was a scam.
“The whole issue of fuel subsidy was set up to create an opportunity for some people to make money, and it had been presented in a manner that convinced everyone that it was for the poor.
“For each 30,000 metric tonnes of kerosene imported into the country, the Federation Account lost $20m. We were importing 6 to 8 vessels monthly for 6 years till this subsidy unload; the Federation Account was losing from $120m to $160m each month.
“This is just on kerosene; can you imagine a country losing $120m monthly to a non-existent subsidy on kerosene, and not on the PMS. This is how bad non-deregulation was because it allowed a little group of criminals to garner so much financial resources as to undermine each single institution that we had for checks and balances.”