Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Why fuel subsidy regime ‘is unsustainable’ in Nigeria: Sanusi

*Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, says the price of continued fuel subsidy is what the country is witnessing in increased poverty, worsening insecurity, and high rate of inflation in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In support of the recent calls for the termination of the subsidy regime in the downstream sector of the economy, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), again, has justified varied calls for the removal of subsidy on petroleum products in the country.

It was learnt Sanusi, who was also the erstwhile Emir of Kano, spoke at a colloquium to mark his 60th birthday Saturday, August 14, 2021, in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

He disclosed that payment of subsidy on petroleum products is unsustainable in Nigeria, report said.

Sanusi, an economist and banker, stated: “Many years ago, when I was screaming about the trillions (of Naira) being spent on fuel subsidy, I remember there was actually an attempt to attack my house in Kano. I was in the Central Bank.

“Where are we today? We are face to face with the reality that this (fuel subsidy) is unsustainable.”

Nigeria spends over ₦100billion monthly on subsidy, just as a Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, reportedly confirmed this development at a public consultative forum on the draft 2022-2024 medium-term expenditure framework/ fiscal strategy paper (MTEF/FSP) recently.

Mrs. Ahmed was quoted to have said: “We have a situation wherein a month, the subsidy costs as much as ₦150 billion.

“That means NNPC has to use that amount to pay for buying the PMS (petrol) and distributing it across the country.”

However, Sanusi believes that subsidy should have been removed in the from petroleum products several years ago.

“And when the decision is taken, it will even be more painful and much more difficult than if we had taken it 10 years ago or five years ago,” he stated.

Sanusi also attributed the rising cost of living to the increased level of insecurity and poverty in Nigeria

In terms of the real price for the authorities’ inability to terminate the subsidy regime in the economy over the years, he said that “it is a price we see in increased poverty; it is a price we see in insecurity; it is a price we see in the high rate of inflation.

“It is a price we see in the loss of the value of our currency; it is a price we see in the numbers around malnutrition, around unemployment, around out of school children, maternal mortality and infant mortality.”

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