Mallam Muhammad Sanusi, the emir of Kano, on Thursday, August 13, addressed President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to plug revenue leakages as part of ensuring an effective anti-corruption fight.
According to The Punch, Sanusi, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, made the claim when he spoke at the Federal Government Budget Symposium held yesterday in Lagos.
The emir insisted that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation had been responsible for numerous economic setbacks in the country.
“No matter how good your budget is, if you cannot do simple things like track your oil revenue, you cannot meet the basic government’s obligations to the citizens.
“Before the government goes borrowing, they need to find out why revenue is so low, given that our GDP is supposed to be high.”
According to PM News, Sanusi commented on the problems in the oil sector and the ways of dealing with them:
“One of the major challenges of the country over the years, in spite of its abundant resources, has been over-dependence on oil revenue and lack of structural reforms.
“This is caused by irregular budget cycles, fiscal indiscipline, huge cost of governance, poor budgeting ethics, implementation processes and weak structures and these have continued to contribute to poor economic performance.
“We spend so much and generate little revenues. We can begin to restructure our economy by fixing the revenue chain and blocking the leakages. And one way of doing that is by stopping subsidy because it gives room for corruption in our country.”
Referring to the NNPC’s swap of crude oil, Sanusi lamented:
“Nobody does swaps unless country like Iran when it is under economic sanctions and can’t sell its oil at the international market or may be your crude is of very low quality.”
Sanusi explained that Nigeria was not subsiding the price of petroleum products, but only hedging it, further concluding that the country cannot win with this hedging.
Meanwhile the Nigerian authorities have carried out a massive shake-up in the NNPC in a bid to restructure the major oil body of the country. Following the August 4 appointment of Ibe Kachikwu as the NNPC head, the organization announced the sacking and retirement of scores of its executives and top managers. A set of appointments was made, including yesterday’s unveiling of Mele Kyari as the head of the crude oil sales department of the corporation.