Former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi has urged the incoming administration to learn from the mistakes of past governments by appointing competent individuals into positions where they will flourish.
Speaking at a policy conversation in Abuja on Tuesday, Sanusi said he was looking forward to seeing the list of ministers that would be appointed by the next president.
He also called on the next administration to protect the institutions of government “from the excesses of politicians”.
“For us to make progress in this country, we have to learn from the good and the bad. We have to see what we did right. We also have to look at where we went wrong in a very smart manner,” Sanusi said.
“If we don’t understand where we went off course, we are not likely to get back on course.
“So, where are we today? We are going to have a government sworn in on May 29, and I think it’s time to start saying what we expect of that government.
“We have lost a lot of ground that we have gained before.” And here I’m referring to public servants that you call “unelected power.”
“Institutions that were set up to protect the system against the excesses of politicians have unfortunately gotten co-opted into the political process.
“You have the central bank that is supposed to have price stability and exchange rate stability as its mandate, and it is given independence and autonomy so that it can say no to politicians.
“You have the judiciary that is supposed to have justice and is given autonomy so that it can say no to politicians. You have the police, and you have anti-corruption agencies.
“These institutions have been built. Democracy is not just about voting; it’s about the rule of law. Now what happens if the police, the judiciary, the central bank, and the civil service now see themselves as part of a political process, as an arm of the ruling party? Everything is wrong.
“So, we need to go back to that situation where politicians respect the independence, integrity, and autonomy of these institutions and when these institutions are held accountable by the laws setting them up to do what they want to do.
“So, I hope that the next president will make a very clear statement that he is going to respect these constitutional arrangements, allow these institutions to do the work that they are supposed to do, and understand that these are not just places for patronage.
“You know, somebody has just contested for the House of Representatives; he has failed to win; you make him electricity commissioner. These institutions are not for that.
“You must have transparency. People must know what they are doing and be able to assess it.
“If we don’t take these decisions by May 29, in two years they will be preparing for the 2027 elections. And it would become more difficult.
“So, difficult as it is, I really would like to see on May 29 or the next day the list of ministers. I have seen a list of ministers in Nigeria: 36 ministers without a single economist, and that cabinet ran for four years without one economist.
“We would like to see who is the finance minister, who is the governor of the central bank, who is the planning minister, and who is the trade and investment minister.
“I wish this country the best. I think this term we need a lot of good luck, a lot of prayer, and a lot of effort. But we have to make sure we put in everything to move forward.”
(firstname.lastname@example.org; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)