By John Shiklam
A former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has lamented the effects of wrong economic decisions on Nigerians.
He said this yesterday while delivering a keynote address at the fifth Kaduna Investments Summit.
According to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), wrong economic decisions have impacted on the means of livelihood of many Nigerians.
He urged governments across all levels to consider the impact of their economic decisions on Nigerians.
Sanusi narrated how many Nigerians had moved from being millionaires to paupers, noting that some parents have had to withdraw their children studying abroad.
He said, “One of the things the government needs to do is to understand the impact of wrong economic decisions or address economic occurrences on human beings and individuals. It affects us in direct and personal ways. Most people are not looking at human beings. We should not just walk away when inflation rises.
“For those of us who have grown up – in my generation, those who grew up in the oil period – we suffered I think about three occasions now with this boom and bust. We have seen highs and lows, friends who are multimillionaire became paupers.
“We have seen people who send their children to school only to bring them back. Even this year, people are bringing their children back. If your child is in the United Kingdom and you need to buy pounds at over N600, you move him to Cyprus, Benin, and so on.”
He also recommended diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
Sanusi said, “Think of the millions of people who can no longer afford to eat. Then, two per cent becomes a massive number. GDP has declined by one percent! In an exam, (if) you move from 67 per cent to 66 per cent (it) is no deal. But if your GDP falls by one per cent, for example, $250 billion – GDP, then we are talking of $2.5 billion. You think of N2.5 billion in terms of people that are earning N20,000, N30,000 per month, how many millions of Nigerians are wiped out or family won’t be able to afford to eat.
“What makes Nigeria successful in the pre-oil period? it was diversification. Dynamism in the trading sector and diversity in the export base, rubber, cocoa, palm oil, and so on.”