Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, SLS, former Governor of Central Bank, CBN, and erstwhile non-conformist Emir of Kano, is not new to controversy; neither is he new to stirring the hornets’ nest.
In fact, either in the field of national discourse or economy, he has always been at home throwing darts, deflecting some and accepting some.
One of those darts he couldn’t escape was confronting the archaic and monarchial Kano traditional institution of which he is a product, canvassing for change to better the Talakawas. The rest of his crusade is History. He got badly injured, lost his throne, bowed out and went back to school; accepting his fate but never abandoning his crusade.
Before he was removed as Governor, Sanusi tenure’s as CBN Governor also ruffled not a few feathers as he asked pointedly what has happened to $20 billion dollars oil money earned by the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan regime but which he could neither provide an answer nor explain how the funds developed wings and flew out of CBN account books.
Today, Sanusi now back fully in public limelight after cooling himself off in London studying and enjoying his wealth, is back on his familiar turf.
Last week, he threw a challenge to Bola Tinubu’s administration to take another look at what is happening in the nation’s oil industry run by the Octopus NNPC.
He threw a challenge to Tinubu to unmask the untouchables behind NNPC’s inability to account for the nation’s resources in its care.
Are they within or without?
Tinubu must find an answer.
He must Act Now to unveil unknown principalities in NNPCL.
Curiously, NNPCL, which Muhammadu Buhari’s regime turned into a limited liability company with more than 80% of its Directors of Northern origin, are selected from his Fulani ethnic stock. This has never surprised Nigerians who knew his typical clannish style.
Sanusi is worried and bothered why the NNPCL, which is responsible for managing the proceeds from Crude Oil sale could not provide the dollars, which scarcity ran Nigeria’s currency down the hill, for the CBN to sell and use to buoy up the Naira’s value.
The big question is what is happening to all the dollars the NNPC is earning from crude oil sale.
Ironically, the question is coming at a time -a week to be precise, after Tinubu reconstituted the board of NNPC, retained its Chief Executive Officer Mele Kyari and appointed another oil guru, Senator Pius Akinyelure as the Board Chairman.
Now is Tinubu trying to unknot the riddle of scarcity of dollar and its usage inside the NNPC by appointing his former boss to oversee Kyari’s activities?
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, back on his familiar turf
Now, if Nigeria is selling crude at $86 dollar per barrel according to OPEC price for the North Brent Crude, and pushing out 1.4 million litres per day 400,000 short of OPEC quota, what percentage is NNPC getting from the Joint Venture Partners, JVP, and what percentage is it using to run both the three moribund refineries; its staff all over the country and its monthly payment and remittance to the Federation account.
Perhaps Sanusi is asking, Why is the NNPC not paying in dollars to the Federation account; and if it is doing, why is the CBN not remitting same in dollars to the 36 states of the country?
Tinubu’s new men at NNPC board should also find out why the Corporations account has not been audited for more than a decade and its difficulty in metering our daily oil production.
Are our oil fields and Inspectorate so moribund that it could not calculate its daily output and what the joint venture partners are producing per day?
President Bola Tinubu…he must Act Now to ‘unveil’ NNPCL principalities
Nigerians also need to know if the JVP partners are paying us in dollars and other foreign currency.
From my layman’s understanding of the industry, are the activities of NNPCL being conducted in dollars and other foreign currencies such that it has spent most of its royalties earned from foreign oil companies.
Why could it not pay foreign currency into CBN to strengthen our Naira and fund our foreign commitments in form of remittances by Airlines and importation by our manufacturing industries?
President Tinubu also needs to do the kind of Audit now being done in the CBN in order to provide definite and correct answers to most of SLS’ questions.
SLS may be blunt and to some people he is a person given to raising dust where there is none, but the fact remains that Tinubu needs to extend a surgical operation to NNPC if we must get to the root of our foreign currency scarcity to correct whatever faulty foundation therein.
Besides, NNPCL, like many other government concerns, has its fair share of the monster of corruption eating deep into its operations and the nation’s fabric.
We must take a second look at Sanusi’s message without necessarily looking at whatever foibles we think the messenger has.
At this stage when the citizenry are being made to tighten their belt either voluntarily or way of reducing their living, leadership especially the executive arm must also be seen to be frugal by living by example and be modest enough as to demonstrate what they have been preaching.
Extravagant living by Leaders while citizens are constantly urged to tighten their belt is a negation of leadership by example dictum and demonstration of scant regard for the citizenry.
Both the leadership of the NASS and Governors who junket about in exotic and out of the world luxurious cars are only demonstrating to the world of their paying lip Service to identifying with the pains of the ordinary man on the street.
Like the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, remarked in 1979, “The rich are becoming richer at the expense of the poor who are becoming poorer”.
It would appear various governments economic programmes are meant to sustain the false lifestyle of the Leaders.
Furthermore, conscious efforts must be made by the Federal Government to eliminate waste and cut cost of governance which today runs counter to our economic realities as a people.
The time to implement the Orosanye report on Reforms of our overlapping government Agencies is now if government is serious about curbing waste and reducing cost of governance for more impactful Development of the country in all facets.