The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has issued a grim warning to President Muhammadu Buhari – continue to tow the path of the previous administration and you will end up in infamy like former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Emir, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, also warned the current government against continuing to blame previous administrations for the nation’s woes, saying what was important was for the administration to concentrate on pulling the nation out from the woods.
Alhaji Sanusi II gave the warning on Wednesday while delivering a paper entitled, “Nigeria In Search Of New Growth model” at the 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning.
“If this government continues to behave the way the last government behaved, we will end up where Jonathan ended”, the monarch said. “You may not like it but that is the truth. You have to listen.
“You don’t have to be an economist to know that any system that allows you to sit in your garden, and with a telephone call, make one billion naira without investing a kobo, that system is wrong. It is unsustainable.
“And just so we are not always blaming the previous administration. We have also made mistakes in this administration. We have started retracing our steps or we have to retrace those steps.
“And if we fall into the same holes that we fell into the last time where the government is always right… If a policy is wrong, it is wrong. Nothing will make it right and it has to be changed”.
He noted that there were many voodoo economists parading around the administration and advising the government.
“And many of them are not economists,” the Emir said. “They are demagogues”.
“Look, I’m not going to change. I am never going to be political. I will never tell people what they like to hear. There is nothing we are facing today that we did not know will happen. That is the truth. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate. We ignored every single warning.
“If you take a brand new car, and give a driver who doesn’t have a license to drive it and you have an accident, you really can’t say you are surprised unless you are some kind of idiot”.
The Emir said he would like to know those advising the present government so he could talk to the advisers themselves.
Mr. Sanusi blamed past federal administrations for failing to diversify the nation’s economy during the oil boom, saying Mr. Buhari should not make the same mistakes.
He specifically carpeted former President Jonathan for turning down advice given to him on how to turn the economy around just as he said warnings of impending economic doom were also ignored by the former Nigerian leader.
At the height of their differences, Mr. Jonathan suspended Sanusi from office as Governor of the CBN on allegations that his tenure was characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct.
The traditional ruler expressed concern that the Buhari administration was toeing the same path like the Jonathan government.
“In a situation where we cannot process tomato. Tomato paste is being imported from China. It is sad”, he lamented.
He said there was urgent need for the country to return to the drawing board on the deepening and expansion of the economy.
“If we do not expand the economy through wise investment, we can end up in classical Malthusian situation”, he said.