Former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II has alleged that payment of fuel subsidy by the federal government is a “scam”, saying some people in power are making billions out of it.
Speaking on Arise Television on Friday, Sanusi stated that successive administrations continue with fuel subsidy payments despite damage to the nation’s revenue and economy.
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) argued that the economic reality of the country is a product of some “negative decisions” taken by successive administrations.
Sanusi said that the first problem of the country in terms of management of its petroleum resources is the assumption that Nigeria is an oil-rich country.
He further said that it does not make sense to think Nigerians need more cheap fuel when there are other basic things like healthcare, infrastructure, electricity, and telecommunications.
“We’ve taken a number of negative decisions, and that has been the bane of successive administrations. The first problem, of course, is assuming that we are an oil-rich country.
“And this has always been the big joke for me. I remembered in 2011 when we were talking about the fuel subsidy debate when President Jonathan rightfully wanted to remove the fuel subsidy.
“I said to people we are producing two million barrels of crude oil for 160 million Nigerians, that is one barrel for 80 people. Saudi Arabia produces one barrel for three citizens. That is a rich country.
“You are producing one barrel for 80 and your share of the revenue of that barrel, maybe half, so you are producing one barrel for 160 people.
“These people (referring to Nigerians) need education, they need healthcare, they need infrastructure, they need electricity, they need telecommunications, they need agriculture and you decide that what they need more than anything else is cheap fuel. That does not make sense.”
He argued that successive administrations continue payment of fuel subsidies because some people in power are making billions of naira from the scheme.