The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi, on Friday kicked against the Federal Government’s plans to borrow $29.96 billion for the country.
Sanusi stated this in Abuja at a policy dialogue organized by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October forwarded a request to the National Assembly to approve external borrowing plan to fund projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.
Sanusi, while acknowledging the fact that the Buhari-led administration inherited a lot of problems from the previous government, lamented that the present government has not taken the necessary steps to drive the economy in the right direction.
He also stated that the fact that there is no proper system in place to check the exchange rate of the country, makes it problematic for any country to give loans to Nigeria, stating that the system lacks credibility.
Sanusi said: “I can tell you for free, if the Senate today approves that we can borrow $30 billion, honestly, no one will lend us.
“It should be approved and I will like to see how you will go to the international market with an economy that has five exchange rates.
“There is one rate for petroleum marketers, there is interbank rate, there is another for money market operators such as Western Union, Money Gram, there is Bureau De Change rate and there is a special rate you get when you call the Central Bank of Nigeria for a transaction.
“So who will borrow you when they don’t know your exact reserve and exchange rate?
“I want to see who will borrow you money when the Niger Delta bombing of oil is there, when the main source of the loan repayment is oil.”
Sanusi further regretted that Nigeria is the lowest spender per capital on development, citing that Kenya spends more than Nigeria on capital projects.
Sanusi also regretted that a large chunk of the country’s resources is used to pay salaries, stressing that this trend can no longer continue since the population has continued to grow.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government not to see this present economic recession as destructive, but an opportunity to move the country forward.
He also called for the implementation of the June 2016 forex reforms.
A former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who also spoke at the event, called for a drastic reduction of the costs of governance.