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The former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has warned that Nigeria will never get rich from producing oil.

He made this statement on Thursday at a lecture series organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.

The former CBN governor said that oil was not enough to make the country rich but it was “enough to put us in trouble.”


He said, “We said, if we did not do something about those subsidies, we would end up where we are today.

“In the short term, the most effective measure to offset the removal of fuel subsidies is cash transfers.

“The design of individual cash transfer programmes varies considerably in reach and coverage. The long-term solution is to reduce dependence on PMS.

“Nigeria will never get rich from producing oil. At best, it represents working capital that can enable the launch of other industries.

“Nigeria produces just 2.3 barrels per person per year compared to Saudi Arabia’s 91.4, Kuwait’s 221.6 and Gabon’s 31.7.”

Sanusi added that bringing economics into public discourse was essential to resetting Nigeria’s economy, which is run based on the ideology of those in power.

“If the state is a rentier state where the people in control see it as an avenue to make money for themselves and their families, they are never going to run an economy in a manner that encourages production and growth.

“If it is run by people who are thinking long-term and of the legacy they will leave behind for their children and the future of the country, they will run different sets of different policies.

“I think every economist knows that multiple exchange rates are a problem, but as long as politicians are able to give themselves a dollar at 400 Naira and sell at 700 Naira, they are not ready to listen to the economists.”

Sanusi urged Nigeria to change course, noting that raising revenue and improving the country’s image were essential to attracting investment and stimulating economic growth.

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