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Break free from petrol dependency for prosperity, says Sanusi



In a riveting address at the Distinguished Lecture Series of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the esteemed 14th Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), unveiled a groundbreaking perspective on Nigeria’s economic future.

With the theme, “Resetting the Nigerian Economy for a Brighter Future,” Sanusi’s electrifying statements reverberated through the audience.

For too long, Nigeria has grappled with the controversial issue of petrol subsidy removal, and Sanusi’s insight offered a beacon of hope. He declared that the long-term solution to this conundrum lies in reducing the nation’s dependency on petrol. With unwavering confidence, he outlined an intricate strategy that would revolutionize Nigeria’s economic landscape.

“In the short term, the most effective measure to offset the removal of fuel subsidies is cash transfers,” Sanusi proclaimed, igniting a fervor of anticipation in the crowd. He elucidated that individual cash transfer programs could be a lifeline in this turbulent transition.

As the crowd hung on his every word, Sanusi emphasized the importance of making Nigerians appreciate the significance of their country’s economy, which he believed many citizens failed to comprehend. To reset the Nigerian economy for a brighter future, he argued for the need to bring economics to the forefront of public discourse.

With a thunderous declaration, he stressed the role of politics in shaping the nation’s economic destiny. “An economy is run on the basis of the ideological orientation of those who control the state,” he boomed. He illustrated the stark contrast between a rentier state, where politicians seek personal gain, and states governed by far-sighted leaders focused on leaving a legacy for their children and the nation’s future.

Sanusi passionately called for the end of multiple exchange rates, lambasting the politicians who perpetuate this problem. “I think every economist knows that multiple exchange rates are a problem, but as long as politicians are able to give themselves a dollar at 400 Naira and sell at 700 Naira, they are not ready to listen to the economists,” he exclaimed, leaving the audience in awe of his conviction.

This visionary leader pointed out that the issue of fuel subsidies had been festering since 2011, and if nothing was done, the nation would find itself in its current predicament. He boldly shifted blame from politicians to civil society for not acting swiftly enough to avert the crisis.

Sanusi left no stone unturned as he underscored the vital role of governance in the quest to reset the economy. He proclaimed that Nigeria could no longer afford to continue down the same path while expecting a different outcome. His resounding words demanded change.

Turning his attention to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) and debt ratio, Sanusi identified the root of the problem: a colossal revenue deficit. He urged for a holistic approach to solve fiscal issues and a significant improvement in the country’s image to attract foreign investments. “Oil is not enough to make us rich but enough to put us in trouble,” he declared, breaking through the illusions of oil wealth. He presented compelling statistics that revealed Nigeria’s underutilized oil production compared to other nations, awakening the audience to the nation’s untapped potential.

In the presence of the Director-General of NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, the atmosphere crackled with energy. He lauded Nigeria’s enduring strength as Africa’s largest democracy and expressed unshakable optimism in the face of adversity. “We have continually proven to be the giant, and we must lead others there,” Osaghae proclaimed, encapsulating the determination that echoed throughout the hall.

Sanusi’s visionary statements on breaking free from petrol dependency captured the essence of the lecture, leaving the audience electrified with hope for a brighter Nigerian future.

Bolaji Farinloye

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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