The Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II, yesterday, said removing oil subsidy would reduce corruption in the country.
Sanusi was speaking at a one-day Symposium on 2015 Budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Lagos.
He said that stopping subsidy was the first step to sanitising the country’s economy and ensuring structural reforms in all ramifications.
He also criticised government’s resort to huge external borrowing to finance budget deficits without meaningful impact in the lives of Nigerians.
“One of the major challenges of the country over the years, in spite of its abundant resources, has been over-dependence on oil revenue and lack of structural reforms.
“This is caused by irregular budget cycle, fiscal indiscipline, huge cost of governance, poor budgeting ethics, implementation processes and weak structures and these have continued to contribute to poor economic performance.
“We spend so much and generate little revenues. We can begin to restructure our economy by fixing the revenue chain and blocking the leakages.
“And one way of doing that is by stopping subsidy because it gives room for corruption in our country, ” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Femi Deru, the 51st President of ICAN, blamed the deteriorating level of poverty, Naira devaluation and dwindling oil price on systemic failure of budget implementation by the three tiers of government.
Deru said that there was an urgent need to analyse the 2015 budget and proffer solutions on the way forward for economic and national development.
‘’As a stakeholder in the economy, the institute is deeply concerned about the nation’s paradox of poverty in the midst of wealth and other economic problems being faced by the country.
‘’ICAN is ready to work with government at all level by offering its expertise and make inputs that will be relevant to government policies for the prosperity of the Nigerian economy, ‘’ he said.