Former Emir of Kano and ex-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has issued a scathing critique of the economic policies employed during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari. In a video message to the Nigerian public, Sanusi expressed concern over the lack of expert guidance in managing the country’s economy, asserting that sycophants had taken advantage of the system, even allowing an “inexperienced boy” to own a private jet during that time.
Sanusi asserted that the previous administration’s approach to economic management had been flawed, pointing to excessive borrowing as a major contributor to Nigeria’s economic woes. He urged citizens to exercise patience with the current administration led by President Bola Tinubu.
During his message, Sanusi emphasized that he had been approached by individuals seeking his insights on the current state of the country. However, he indicated that he believed it was not the appropriate time for him to comment on the hardships being faced by Nigerians.
He stated, “The last eight years, Nigeria led a false life, the government borrowed from within and without. About N30 trillion was borrowed from the Central Bank. All the revenue the country generated in the last few years couldn’t service debt. Debt service exceeded 100 per cent. Government borrowed to service debts. No country can grow this way. Time will come when one cannot borrow any more. Additionally there will be nothing to pay debts.”
Sanusi went on to highlight the consequences of the economic mismanagement, stating, “Those writing, demanding that we speak on the current situation in the country; this is not the right time for me to speak. It was like a driver on the road driving recklessly despite wise counsel telling him of a crater ahead. What will you tell after plunging the car into the hole? People refused to listen to us then. We will only now advise them to be patient.”
Addressing the issue of subsidies and financial constraints, he remarked, “I will never say Tinubu has pushed Nigeria into difficulty. I am not saying he is flawless or flawed. We will speak when he goes astray. The government can’t pay subsidies since it doesn’t have the means. If they add tax, we have to pay since borrowing is impossible. If the CBN printed more naira, the dollar would jack up to N1,500. We must suffer. When I was the CBN governor it was N150. Today it’s somewhere around N900.”
Sanusi concluded his message by underscoring the lack of attention given to expert advice during the previous administration, stating, “They treated the economy the way they wanted and refused to listen to experts. In the last eight years, only sycophancy succeeded. The sycophants bought dollars at N400 and sold N540. An inexperienced boy who had never worked anywhere owns a private jet.”
This candid assessment by Sanusi sheds light on the economic challenges faced by Nigeria in recent years and raises important questions about the nation’s financial management practices.