The recently deposed Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Muhammad Sanusi II, has stated that it is inevitable for Nigeria to be bankrupt, with its current governance structure under President Muhammadu Buhari, which he described as too expensive and very unsustainable, learnt.
He stressed that with the fiscal crisis the country is facing, and looking at where Nigeria is headed post-Covid-19, it had become imperative for Nigeria to ask fundamental questions about the structure of its Federation.
Speaking at a webinar hosted by Emmanuel Chapel, with the theme: “Mitigation of the economic impact of Covid-19 and the path to recovery”, Sanusi stated that when he was the Governor of the Central Bank, and the price of Oil was over $100 per barrel, the government at the time spent 80 percent of its revenue on salaries and overheads.
His words: “Now, I am sure that with the shortfall in revenues, and where Oil price is, after debt service, we probably have to borrow to pay salaries. We have got to look at that structure.
“If you have a company, and you have extremely high overheads, and you need a high contribution margin to break even, you would be looking at how to reduce cost. So, we have a Constitution that says we should have a President and a Vice President, we must have a Minister from every State of the Federation, whether or not it is 36 Ministries; we should have 109 Senators and 360 Members of the House of Representatives.
“It also said we should have 36 Governors, 36 Deputy Governors, each State with its House of Assembly, and comprising many Legislators, 774 Local Government Chairmen, Councillors, the Personal Assistants and Special Assistants (at all levels), staff members and vehicles.
“With these, you are already set up to be bankrupt. This is something I have been talking about for years. We need to ask ourselves; the structure that we have, does it leave us any option, rather than to remain unsustainable over time? This is the kind of conversation we need to have as a country.
“Do we need a bicameral Legislature; do we need close to 500 Legislators in Abuja; do we need the hundreds of State Legislators; what are they doing; do we need all these Local Government Chairmen and Councillors, or do we need to look at that structure?”
At the event anchored by the Founder/CEO, BFA Foundation, Olu Verheijen, Sanusi also said that even if it would not reduce cost, government could increase productivity, by redeploying personnel from the Civil Service, where many people do administrative works, to areas like Education and Health care.