$29.9b loan: “You don’t have the facts”–Presidency tells Emir of Kano

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*Buhari, Sanusi

The presidency has taken on the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 over his recent scathing remarks on the proposed external borrowing of $29.9 billion and the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration lacks the right policies to fix Nigeria’s economy.

The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu said in his reply to Sanusi’s comments that the Emir did not have the facts on the issues over which he criticised Buhari’s administration.

“With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler, because I come from Kano.

“He doesn’t have his facts as far as those issues are concerned. The issue in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but it is within limits.”

He said the issue in CBN, that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but it is within limits.

“The overdraft does not exceed N1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by N4.5 trillion.”

On the Emir’s opposition to the loan, Shehu said the minister of finance would respond appropriately.

“As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway and electricity development in the country,” he added.

It would be recalled that the Emir who was former governor of CBN spoke recently at policy dialogue forum organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in Abuja where he expressed his disapproval of the borrowing plans by the Buhari-led administration.

“I can tell you for free, if the Senate today approves that we can borrow $30 billion, honestly, no one will lend us.

“It should be approved and I will like to see how you will go to the international market with an economy that has five exchange rates,” he was quoted as saying.

He added: “The problem of the current government is having the right policies to fix the current economic woes.”

Sanusi claimed the CBN had been lending to the government above the limits stipulated by the CBN Act of 2007.

“The CBN-FGN relationship is no longer independent. In fact, one could argue their relationship has become unhealthy.

“CBN claims on the FGN now top N4.7 trillion — equal to almost 50 per cent of the FGN’s total domestic debt. This is a clear violation of the Central Bank Act of 2007 (Section 38.2) which caps advances to the FGN at 5 per cent of last year’s revenues. Has CBN become the government’s lender of last or first resort?”

Sanusi said Nigeria is enmeshed in heavy debts, stating that out of every N1 Nigeria makes, 40 kobo goes to debt and 60 kobo is left for salaries, health, education, power, and infrastructure.

 

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