Sanusi Backs Fed Govt on Subsidy Removal
The removal of fuel by the Federal Government got on Thursday the support of one-time Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who said the decision was taken in the nation’s interest.
Sanusi, who was also a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gave the support at “The PlatformNG60” organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, anchored by Pastor Poju Oyemade.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Platform is non profit initiative by Covenant Christian Centre, which is aimed at empowering Nigerians with insights and skills needed for economic transformation and ensuring good governance.
Sanusi also said that the reforms by the current government would give positive results if well implemented.
He said that the removal 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 ourselves and anyone who studied economies 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 that 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 tariff 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 need 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,” Sanusi said.
He also commended the Finance Minister, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, for her bold reforms to keep the country from going totally bankruptcy.
He said that Ahmed “has been trying to manage finances of the government in an extreme situation.”
Speaking on the way forward, Sanusi called for economic diversification and human capital development.
He said that Nigeria needed to focus on human capital, stressing “its human beings that build countries.
“All we need to do is to continue to eliminate avenues for rent seeking.
“When people understand that the way to make money is to produce real goods and services, build up Small and Medium Enterprises, build up manufacturing companies, they will provide the needed services.”
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