Nigeria will soon go bankrupt with present governance structure – Emir Sanusi
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has reiterated his stance that Nigeria would inevitably go bankrupt if the present governance structure was not whittled down.
The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who has consistently decried the high cost of governance, insisted that it was too expensive and unsustainable in the long run.
According to Sunday Punch, Sanusi while speaking during a webinar hosted by Emmanuel Chapel, with the theme, ‘Mitigation of the economic impact of COVID-19 and the path to recovery’ explained that the fiscal crisis occasioned by COVID-19 coupled with the high cost of governance could cause the country to go bankrupt.
He stressed that Nigeria must begin to seriously look into reducing salaries and overheads. He explained that as CBN governor under the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and when oil was over $100 per barrel, the nation spent more than 80 percent of generated revenue on salaries and overheads.
“Now, I’m sure that with the shortfall in revenues and where oil price is, after debt service, we probably have to borrow to pay salaries. We have got to look at that structure,” the outspoken economist said.
Sanusi added, “If you have a company and you have extremely high overheads and you need a high contribution margin to break even, you would be looking at how to reduce cost.
“So, we have a constitution that says we should have a president and a vice-president, we must have a minister from every state of the federation, whether or not it’s 36 ministries; we should have 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives.
“It also said we should have 36 governors, 36 deputy governors, each state with its House of Assembly and comprising many legislators, 774 local government chairmen, councillors, the personal assistants and special assistants (at all levels), staff members and vehicles.
“With these, you are already set up to be bankrupt. This is something I have been talking about for years. We need to ask ourselves; the structure that we have, does it leave us any option rather than to remain unsustainable over time? This is the kind of conversation we need to have as a country.
“Do we need a bicameral legislature; do we need close to 500 legislators in Abuja; do we need the hundreds of state legislators; what are they doing; do we need all these local government chairmen and councillors or do we need to look at that structure?”
The Herald NG – John Ogunsemore