Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Saturday condemned the Nigerian financial system which allows the lavish, lackadaisical attitude of some sycophantic Nigerian elites.
Here are his words:
“When the minister is there, you tell them, “You know, Hon. Minister, Nigeria is very lucky to have you in office.” No! You tell the minister that you are doing well, but, you know there are these areas that you must change. If a policy is wrong, it is wrong. Nothing will make it right. And it has to be changed.
“So, this is what we did. Look at real sector wages. It was not just Nigeria, it was all over Africa. Look at sovereign debt fuelling growth.
“If you take the example of an individual. You happen to know bank MDs and you can make a few phone calls and get loans. You borrow N1 billion here today and build a very nice mansion in Abuja. You borrow another N1 billion and let your family go out on first class ticket as you are travelling all over the world. You borrow another N5 to N6 billion and buy a private jet.
“We have very many people in Nigeria who you think are very rich. But, who are really bankrupt, because everything about them are being financed by bank debts. When one debt matures they have enough connections to call another bank, borrow and refinance that debt. They are not earning anything. They have private jets. They have yachts. Their families travel first class. They go abroad and stay in the most expensive hotels. It happens. And it is happening today.
“What do you think of those people? When you think about such people, do you think they are foolish people? Or do you think they are wise people? So, what would you say of a country that does this?
“So, you feel growth by borrowing money, pay salaries, people spend money on pure consumption spending, nothing is produced. It’s fine. It’s short term. But, it is not sustainable. How much can you continue to borrow and consume without producing?”