Lamido Sanusi, the former emir of Kano and one time governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has declared that the constitution permits President Muhammadu Buhari to be impeached for spending millions of dollars on petrol subsidies without appropriated funds.
During the recently concluded Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, where he was a panelist on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sanusi made this statement.
” Every year, the government spends millions upon millions of dollars on fuel subsidies without appropriation. Under the constitution, this is enough ground to impeach the President.
” But nobody is holding them to account. The National Assembly is not holding them to account, ” he said.
The previous governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) claimed that the federal government’ s populist approach was harming the country.
He pleaded on President Muhammadu Buhari’ s administration to have the fortitude to make the right decisions, claiming that the country was being managed as a populist rather than a developmental state.
” Those in government must understand that there are times that you have to make some decisions not because they are popular but because they are right. We have to decide to run a developmental state and not a rental state; not a populist state, ” the former emir said.
” We are pursuing a populist policy: we want to have cheap fuel, cheap electricity, a strong Naira. That is populism. At the end of the day, what price are we paying by taking money out of education in order to subsidise petroleum products? ” he said.
” This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’ t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.
” So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues” he said.
” I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy. In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we are importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question, what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost double? ” he asked.
He further noted that: ” this is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, NNPC said they are importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number” he disclosed.