The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has lamented that the richest man in Africa is from Nigeria and ironically, the country “is also the poverty capital of the world”.
According to him, Nigeria had no basis for spending $3billion to $4billion annually on fuel subsidy.
Speaking at the launch of “From Frying Pan to Fire”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi in Abuja on Thursday, Sanusi claimed Nigeria is now the headquarters of poverty in the world.
The monarch said: “If you come to Abuja Airport, it is filled with private jets. If you land in Abuja you will think Nigeria is a very rich country. We have beautiful roads and bridges; we have everything in Abuja.
“Go to the rural areas and see the large number of Nigerians there. It is a completely different world. It is a sad case and we need to deal with that. We must also remember that the discourse is not just a humanitarian discourse and it is not value-free.”
He also spoke of a mismanaged economy and misplaced priorities, stressing that subsidy funds should be spent on education, power and industry to create jobs.
In his view, Africans need jobs and they need a life to stop them from migrating to other continents.
Sanusi, however, said global inequality accounted for the migration crises being experienced in Europe, America and even Nigeria.
“We have to grow up. We cannot blame Europe and America for our problems; we have mismanaged our economy, we have misplaced our priorities, we have not understood the importance of development. We think these roads and bridges are developments and not the human beings.
“How much are we spending in an attempt to give ourselves cheap fuel? $3billion or $4billion a year? So-called petroleum subsidy? Imagine putting that money into education or into power or industry. That won’t deal with migration unless we have jobs. Why can’t we have electricity?”