Monday, 20 May 2013
State Of The Nation: Why Sanusi Should Go Back To NIPSS By Ifeanyi Izeze
There are few people in this country that would disagree that the serially displayed deportment of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has become a cause for serious concern. If someone at the helm of affairs of a serious government institution like the Central believes he has the antidote to the array of the nation’s socio-economic problems facing the country but goes ahead to state them in the wrong places at the wrong time and in manners quickly mistaken for sheer arrogance, such knowledge may never be useful for anything.
No matter how well-intended a proposal is, if it is not delivered to the appropriate places and at the appropriate time, it would be mistaken to be either arrogance/insultive or insensitive. And this why Nigerians are saying that Sanusi’s only understanding of governance is simply about saving money and not saving lives as his proposals are repeatedly devoid of human content and without consideration of the implications on the larger society.
Why is it that the Central Bank Governor who should be a critical part of this government does not know when to talk and when to keep quite? No doubt, Sanusi has the right of speech, but he must guide his utterances as a top government official. Are there no avenues for Sanusi as the administrator of the nation’s apex bank to pass on his ideas in the form of advice/suggestions/proposals to the President instead of always heating up the polity with his actions and comments?
How can a top government official holding such a sensitive position always be caught in webs of controversies which are most times very unnecessary? And why can’t he just do his job as the CBN governor and stop at that rather than this current disposition of a partisan politician deeply involved a popularity contest?
As said by the Nigerian Labour Congress, we need to ask Sanusi how much work he has successfully done in the CBN to reposition it to contemporary realities. Is he not surrounded by arrays of aides that are obviously not required by a man who believes the Nigerian economy runs too high on overhead costs?
During the debates on withdrawal or otherwise of fuel subsidy, the CBN governor went about his argument with obvious arrogance despite the fact that almost all the monies paid out or rather stolen sailed through the Central Bank.
He went to the House of Reps sometime ago and rather than address the issues he was confronted with, he was boasting that he never looked for job and would not mind even from the National Assembly to go back to Kano where he is a prince and heir apparent.
Last September he came up with the ‘interesting’ concept of N5000 bank note which will result in the conversion of the existing 20, 10 and 5 naira notes into coins. And when almost all sections of the Nigerian society rose up against it, his comment was that the issue was already a done deal and there was no going back on the decision. Habah Mallam!
This same man unilaterally doled out N100 million or was it N500 million handout to what he called victims of Boko Haram bomb blast in Kano and when he was accused of ethnic and sectional bias, he said his predecessor, Chukwuma Soludo doled out even more money. But he did not tell us whether Soludo’s social responsibility spending was to his village people in Anambra.
Nobody can dispute whether Sanusi was right on his position on the cost of governance in Nigeria being high. But the CBN governor rather than speaking directly to where the real problem lies preferred to seek cheap popularity by deceptive activism which ignores the real issues replacing them with the devils alternative.
Obviously, the structure of public spending is on the high side, but the argument that the problem would be solved if all the civil servants are thrown out of job could best be said to be defective because the cumulative wage bill of the “real civil servants” is very insignificant compared to what big government functionaries like Sanusi and their fleet of aides drain from the national coffers as entitlements including “man-no-be-wood” allowances.
What is wrong in having so many Senators, Representatives and local government councils with their chairmen? Nothing at all! The problem is in what they pay themselves with the authorization of Sanusi’s Central Bank. Why is Sanusi with all his fine ideas not pursuing a campaign for the National Assembly members, State governors and the local government brigades to be paid based on the minimum wage salary structure without all the mind-blowing allowances and benefits? If he puts the level of energy he has applied in his popularity contest along this line, some of us would have enlisted as reserve officers’ corps for such campaign.
Supposing 50% of the civil service workforce is sacked to save cost what will the amount saved be as against the amount being looted daily by government officials and there cronies? Can't we find a way of making these workers more productive and thereby making the civil service at least generate 30-50 percent of their salary through creative and productivity initiatives? Should this not be the CBN’s responsibility at least to propose? These are the line of thoughts the CBN governor should have been pushing with his current arrogant disposition and we will support him on that.
What has the CBN governor suggested or rather done to force the federal government to be honestly committed to infrastructure development which would serve as panacea to wealth creation even at the micro-economic level?
No doubt, many Nigerians believe the CBN governor talks roughly and turns around to blame the Nigerian media of sensationalising any public comments he makes.
As Sanusi has vowed he will not stop talking on the case for changes that would see the cost of governance go down in spite of his critics as his job was not to make anyone happy but to provide good fiscal and monetary policies, the best way to ensure he doesn’t talk all of us into trouble, is to send him to the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) to teach him how to keep talking without creating problem for all of us. This is my own suggestion.
IFEANYI IZEZE: Abuja, email@example.com