Muhammadu Sanusi II, ex-Emir of Kano, has noted that Nigeria is in deeper mess today than it was in 2015.
The former CBN governor Sanusi spoke on Thursday at the Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF), leadership colloquium and awards, which was held in Lagos state.
He expressed concern over the myriad of challenges, ranging from insecurity, inflation rate, poverty, among other issues, bedevelling the country.
Sanusi said Nigeria thought they had it bad in 2015 but between then and now, things have become worse.
“This is the only oil-producing country that is grieving at the moment when oil prices have gone up as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war. Our total revenue is not able to service our debt,” he said.
“And if anybody does not understand that we are in a complete mess, we are. We were in a deep hole in 2015. And between 2015 and now, we have been digging ourselves into a deeper hole.
“We thought we had a big problem in 2015. 2015 is nothing, compared to what will happen in 2023. We have terrorism, we have banditry, we have inflation, we have an unstable exchange rate, and the worst thing is that those in leadership actually think we are going to thank them when they leave office.
“That we are going to appreciate them, there is no change. There is no sense of urgency. If you are running a company and your sales revenue cannot pay interest, you know you’re bankrupt.
“When the total revenue of the federal government cannot service debt? And we are smiling. These are the kinds of questions we need to ask. And the reality is that there are so many Nigerians, who, given the opportunity will do well but they simply cannot contest in that space.”
Sanusi blamed Nigerian leaders for the crisis, saying they lack vision for the country and are self-centred.
He said Nigerian leaders are more concerned about winning elections and gaining political offices than working to better the lives of citizens.
“What is our vision for Nigeria? Do we have a vision of one country? Do we have a vision of one united country, that lives peacefully with itself – diverse, multicultural, multi-religious but one? And these things are not self-contradictory. Where did we get it wrong? he asked.
“Leaders after leaders, most of those who have ruled did not have a vision for a united Nigeria. How would you like to be remembered after eight years as a President, after eight years as a governor, eight years as a minister, eight years as Governor of CBN?
“How would you like history to remember you? They have not thought about it. The vast majority of those in office have a vision that is limited to the next election. It is to win. And when you’ve won, you’ve reached a destination, not a journey.”