• Says govt under ruling party has set Nigeria 40 years backwards
By Chinelo Obogo
Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Muhammadu Sanusi, has said the All Progressives Congress-led government has set Nigeria 40 years backwards economically.
In a trailer for an interview the former Emir of Kano had with Rufai Oseni of Arise TV, he said based on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (an economic metric that breaks down a country’s economic output per person) on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis between 1980 and 2023, the economic gains the country made was wiped out between 2014 and 2019.
“Let me give you an idea, when we look at the numbers we see how bad things are. If you look at the World Bank development indicators, in 1980, on a PPP basis, our per capita GDP was, I believe, $2,180. In 2014, it had risen to $3,099, a 50 percent rise. In 2019, our GDP per capita, on a PPP basis was down to $2,229. At this rate, by 2023, on a per capita basis, we would be back to where we were in 1980. We have been set back 40 years. Look at the fall between 2014 and 2019, all the gains made in 35 years between 1980 and 2014 were wiped out,” he said.
This is not the first time the former Emir is criticising the APC-led Federal Government for being responsible for Nigeria’s economic woes.
During a recent virtual religious event, Sanusi said the administration of the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari, ignored his advice on how to move Nigeria forward.
He said he had to deviate from the religious theme of the event to remind Nigerians about his stand on the badly managed economic policies of the immediate past administration of Buhari and that everything in Nigeria in the last eight years was done on the basis of debt and that no country will survive in that kind of economic policy.
“The economy was poorly managed, and they were not willing to take advice; in the last eight years, apart from sycophancy, nothing has been done. Those sycophants are those buying the dollar at the rate of N400 and selling it at the rate of N600 to N700. A boy who has no record of service has a private jet and owns houses in Dubai and England just because he is buying dollars and selling them.
“I have been, over the years, talking about the pending crisis ahead of the current economic hardship. Any economist who has studied monetary policy in the last eight years knows that Nigerians will fall into this difficult situation. The difficult situation Nigerians are facing is just the beginning (if the right decision is not put in place) because Nigeria is not exceptional; such situations happened in Germany, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Venezuela.
“The previous administration turned adamant about our appeal for corrective measures (on the economic policy). I have said in the presence of the now sitting president in Kaduna state, any politician who tells you that things will be easy, don’t vote for him because he is lying. People merely dismissed my advisory as a political statement,” Sanusi said.
However, he said that it would be unfair for him to criticise President Bola Tinubu over the country’s economic hardship Nigerians. “If I am to be fair and just to President Bola Tinubu, he is not to blame for the current hardship; for eight years, we were living a fake lifestyle with huge debt from foreign and domestic debts. The Central Bank of Nigeria owes over N30 trillion, which resulted in debt service surpassing 100 per cent.
“I can’t join other Nigerians criticising Tinubu on the current economic hardship, and I am not saying he is a saint free from wrongdoing, but in this current economic situation, President Tinubu is not to be blamed. I will also speak if I see any wrong economic policy of the Tinubu administration in the future,” he said.