By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Emir of Kano, Mr Muhammad Sanusi II, has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of funding the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration illegally.
The traditional ruler made this allegation while speaking at a policy monitoring dialogue hosted by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, where he also said he won’t keep talking or “apologise for being who I am” because the “government I served, I did not keep quiet. When I am not serving the government, I cannot keep quiet.”
Mr Sanusi, at the event, said the apex bank, which he led before becoming the emir of Kano, was illegally lending to the Federal Government.
“The problem of the current government is not having the right policies to fix the current economic woes,” the former CBN Governor said, stressing that, “The CBN-FGN relationship is no longer independent. In fact, one could argue their relationship has become unhealthy.”
Mr Sanusi disclosed that CBN’s lending to the government since Buhari came in had spiked from about N1.5 trillion to over N4.5 trillion.
“CBN claims on Federal Government now tops N4.7 trillion, equal to almost 50 percent of the FG’s total domestic debt. This is a clear violation of the Central Bank Act of 2007 (Section 38.2) which caps advances to the FG at 5 percent of last year’s revenues. Has CBN become the government’s lender of last or first resort?” he queried.
The prominent monarch said Nigeria is enmeshed in heavy debts, stating that out of every N1 Nigeria makes, 40 kobo goes to debt and 60 kobo is left for salaries, health, education, power, infrastructure.
Mr Sanusi noted that oil is merely a working capital that cannot make the country rich, stating further that Nigeria produces one barrel for 80 Nigerians, while Saudi Arabia produces one for three Saudis.
He noted that in every economy, growth is driven by “consumption, investment and net export”, adding that “our exports cannot grow, without regulatory certainty or an increase in the price of oil”.
He also said no one was willing to lend to the Nigerian government, pointing out that “if Senate approved, I want to see who will lend you $30 billion when you have five exchange rates.”
Additional information from TheCable.
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