2023: Resurrecting the good governance agenda

DDG Weekly Column

2023: Resurrecting the good governance agenda

Any politician who tells you that it will be easy to rebuild governance in 2023 (after the elections) is either lying to you or does not understand what job he has gotten

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, 14th Emir of Kano, at the Kaduna Investment Summit on October 14, 2022

Two recent events; first, the hard hitting remarks of a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the 14th Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at the just concluded Kaduna Investment Summit, as well as this week’s annual Chief Emeka Anyaoku Lecture, which the keynote address was delivered by this columnist, have set one thinking about good governance and its centrality to a country’s well-being.

One of the good points of Sanusi’s intervention, part of which has been quoted in the opening paragraph, is that he employed the relevant statistics not to occlude Nigeria’s harsh reality but to paint the picture as it is. For example, demonstrating that Nigeria spends more than its total earnings to service her ever soaring debts, he explained that if the country continued on that rate, it would mean that next year, at least, we would use all our earnings to service, not pay up debts, and then go a-borrowing to make up for the difference, given that debt serving gulps down over 100 per cent of our income. In other words, after borrowing to service our debts, we will have to keep borrowing to pay salaries, build infrastructure, and maintain health and education.

This shows how really desperate the economy has become, and makes one wonder whether like the fictional Rip Van Winkle who slept for several years and, on waking up, expected that the world would have remained the same. Those who had the charge to run our economy were not fully aware of the consequences of their actions.