…says policy in Nigerians’ best interest
A former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday lauded the removal of fuel subsidy by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, saying that the policy was in the best interest of the country as it would impact positively on Nigerians. The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor gave his endorsement at; “The PlatformNG60,” organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, anchored by Pastor Poju Oyemade. The programme was conducted virtually PlatformNG60 was a non-profit initiative by Covenant Christian Centre, aimed at empowering Nigerians with insights and skills needed for economic transformation and ensuring good governance.
An ardent critic of fuel subsidy retention in his days at the helm of affairs at the apex bank, Sanusi said the reforms by the current government would give positive results if well implemented.
He said the removal of the subsidy was long overdue considering the current economic realities. “As a result of COVID-19, Nigeria has finally come round to been realistic; we were paying billions of dollars as subsidy.
“It’s been going on for 20/30 years and we complained about the economic situation we were in today, but there is nothing that surprises me. “If we are honest with ourselves and anyone who studied economics could see that this subsidy we needed to end it. “It’s something we could have stopped as far back as 10 years ago, not just with this government, but with the previous governments,” Sanusi said. He said the Federal Government had commenced implementation of some reforms that needed to be continued to achieve growth and development. “In the last few months, this government has started implementing certain reforms that if we continue along those lines, we will begin to see the light.
“Removal of fuel subsidy is one, the adjustment in electricity tarrif is another. “But fundamentally, look at NNPC, this government has for the first time in more than a decade published audited accounts of NNPC for 2018. “We may not like what we see in terms of the spending right now inside NNPC, but at least let us have some kind of visibility of what happens there,” he added.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor also said that increased transparency in the oil sector and increased transparency in the energy sector should be maintained. “These are reforms that needed to be pushed, we need to understand that the government does not have the balance sheet to continue with the father Christmas situation that we had over the last decade or so. “I wish we have done this earlier, but we are here now and this is being done and we need to commend it,” former CBN governor added.
Asked about ways to solve the crisis and restore peace, Sanusi said Nigerians must recognise that irrespective of political office, every citizen must be good representatives of their beliefs, religion and ethnic groups. He said those who claim to represent the interest of southerners and northerners due to the political positions they occupy were more concerned about their pockets than happenings in the various areas they represent.