FG Mismanagement of Economy Fuelling Migration, Says Emir of Kano

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Muhammad Sanusi

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, has blamed the increasing rate of migration on the misplaced priorities, mismanagement of the economy and lack of understanding of the importance of development by the federal government, adding that Europe and America cannot be blamed for Nigeria’s inadequacies.

The former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the public presentation of ‘From Frying Pan to Fire’, written by the Chairman of THISDAY Editorial Board, Mr. Segun Adeniyi.

He said there was no way a discussion on migration could be held without having a take on global inequality and globalisation of the economic system that had been established.

According to him, “Migration is a big and a complex issue. The discussion on migration is the same for extremism. How much of it is a result of circumstances on economy, poverty, climate change as well as a matter of people having the wrong ideas?”

The Kano monarch noted that in the last 30 to 40 years, nothing has been done to bring down barriers to the movement of capital across borders, barriers to the movement of goods across borders and manufactured goods produce in large and high efficiency economies to African economies without duty and protection.

The emir lamented that the intensification of poverty at the time when the country has intensified expropriation is amazing, stressing that the richest man in Africa is from Nigeria and Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world, “that is contradiction and typical of the world we have created.”

He stated: “Now, to come back home, we have to grow up; we can’t blame Europe and America for our problems, we have mismanaged our economy, we have misplaced our priorities, and we have not understood the importance of development. We think this roads and bridges are development not human beings.

“If we have opened up our capital market and our goods markets and if the result of that is that there is so much poverty, it is time to start asking what we can do to redress some of these challenges.

“I don’t want to sound like a broken record. How much are we spending to give ourselves cheap fuel, $3 billion $4 billion a year? Imagine putting that money into education, power or industry, that would solve migration and create jobs for the people.

“And why can’t we have electricity? We have tariffs that are simply not sustainable. Why is it possible for people in Côte d’Voire and Niger Republic to pay the right tariff and get power, while people can’t pay the tariff in Nigeria?

“So, we have got to look at our own policies. I think that for me, when we discussed migration, extremism or ethnic conflict in Africa, we cannot divorce those things from the conditions that have been created by the kind of economic choices made locally and globally, and it is time to understand that whatever the benefit of those programmes, there have been consequences which may or may not have been intended, but we still praise those consequences.”

While presenting the book, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the book, which partly describes the unfortunate and perilous journeys faced by most trafficked or irregular migrants from Africa, could not have come at a better time, “because it could be the required advocacy to deal with the scourge.”

He said the Edo State Government has acknowledged and accepted that almost 65 percent of irregular migrants and trafficked persons come from the state, therefore, the state government has taken steps to tackle it.

On his part, the author, Adeniyi, said the book has always been there, but he never thought of it until about three years ago when he delivered a lecture at the Platform titled: ‘If We Stay Here We Die’.

Adeniyi revealed that his younger brother was practically lost for six years due to illegal migration between1993 and 1998.

He blamed the increase in migration and trafficking in person on financial poverty and poverty of the mind, adding that if most people know what awaits them, they won’t venture on such futile journey.