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Ex-CBN Gov Sanusi sees long road to recovery for Nigerian economy

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The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Lamido Sanusi has delivered a sobering assessment of the Nigerian economy, warning that it will take significant time to overcome years of mismanagement.

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who spoke at the 2024 Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit, emphasized the challenges facing the current administration.

“The mismanagement of the last ten years will not be undone in six months or one year,” he cautioned.

Sanusi acknowledged the potential unpopularity of economic reforms. “This is more so because the reform of an economy…requires difficult decisions; it involves policies that will be painful and unpopular,” he remarked. He nonetheless argued that such measures are essential for long-term prosperity.

The current government under President Bola Tinubu has implemented policies like petrol subsidy removal and forex rate unification, leading to price increases and economic hardship for many Nigerians.

Sanusi acknowledged the present difficulties but defended these reforms as necessary steps.

“We need to understand that some of the difficult decisions that are taken will take time to walk through the economy,” he said.

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“It will take a little while for us to see a turnaround, but those decisions are absolutely necessary for them to save the economy.”

Sanusi stressed the importance of avoiding the fate of nations like Venezuela and Argentina, whose economies faltered under mismanagement.

Looking beyond immediate hardships, Sanusi advocated a diversified economy less reliant on oil revenues. “Oil is a resource but not enough to make Nigeria a wealthy nation,” he asserted.

Taxation also emerged as a key point in Sanusi’s address. He argued for a balanced approach, cautioning against excessive levies that could stifle growth.

“Quoting the late former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Sanusi said that no country has ever taxed its way to prosperity.”

Sanusi emphasized the need for a streamlined tax system that fosters economic activity.

Sanusi’s remarks come amidst ongoing debate about the best course for Nigeria’s economic recovery.

His call for patience with reform efforts, coupled with a focus on diversification and responsible taxation, offers a valuable perspective for policymakers navigating this critical juncture.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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