A former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said current measures being implemented by the federal government to stabilize the economy are critical as the nation’s economy had huge pre-existing conditions before the COVID-19 pandemic set in.
Speaking during an interview on Arise TV on Friday, the former emir said the ongoing restructuring including the removal of fuel subsidy was the right thing to do.
He said, “Some of the recent measures announced, the measures borrowed from the IMF, the elimination of fuel subsidy, painful as those are, are the necessary adjustments we need to make in order to improve the revenue profile of the government.
“We now have improved transparency at the NNPC.
“I heard that the NNPC has remitted almost N2 trillion to the Federation Account which is much more than in ages.
“Just improving the transparency in the oil sector for example, it has its relative impact on government revenues.”
The government recently removed oil subsidy which means the price of petroleum products are being determined by market conditions, with the recent fuel price rising above N151 per litre, while the government also increased electricity tariff within the week.
Sanusi however advised the government to check spending.
“The government should look at the quality of spending and ensure it is directed to the very bottom of the pyramid (masses),” he said.
He said some of the spending that should be properly directed include education, water, rural development which would be better than spending on beautiful bridges and skyscrapers.
The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) added that development that is people-based should be about these social amenities.
He said in the pre-COVID-19 period, Nigeria was in slow growth and about 60 percent of earnings was being used to service debts, and fuel subsidy was gulping N1 trillion already within the last five to six years and there was lack of transparency at the NNPC.