The Next 100: No Peace, No Prosperity – HRH. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (Emir of Kano)

good morning everyone may I recognize his Excellency Japan is shown it on and every other person in this room and thank Union Bank for the honor of inviting me to speak on this occasion of the hundred years anniversary being obviously a former executive director and chief executive of First Bank I kind of feel like someone's hiding in enemy territory and only reason I'm comfortable doing this is first bank reach this landmark in 1994 so you know when I saw the letter inviting me to speak the topic I was given was there is no prosperity without peace and I said Mecca and his team would have sat down racked their brains as we see for many hours and thought what topic can we give the email that can in no way be controversial I mean what can be less controversial than arguing that there can be no prosperity without peace which makes it very boring right okay so let me begin with a few disclaimers I thought there were no politicians in this room but I've just seen governor semi literally by there any politicians or is an actually going to say it's an ex politician so my one disclaimer and this is for all politicians is that if I do not call you by name I'm not talking to you so if you think so if you think I'm talking to you just thinking it okay so now I asked America what I was supposed to come with a presentation and he said no no no just come and just see what you like which is very dangerous thing to do is shake it I said no worry I will not make Union by guilty by association but but you know I'd like to just speak a little about some of things we've heard today let me start with my sister I'm starting at her name the lady who was on stage with the CD hoarding card she did say that monetary policy has always been made by men I had the distinct privilege as governor of central bank to have been appointed an honorary woman based on all the work that we had done before women in that time maybe we should take a step back a look at that and then see how we can build on that as far as the gender issues are concerned you report that in 2012 the bankers committee actually declared 2012 the year of the woman in banking and we came out with a number of policy directives and initiatives aimed at closing the gender gap both in employment and then access to finance for women I remember we agreed that every bank would ensure that at recruitment at this 50% of new entrants were women we agreed that every bank would work towards making sure at least 40% of top management and board where female I remember we started a process of actually documenting the number of women businesses that banks linked to we set up a small immediamente prize fund of 220 billion and said 60% of that fund would go to women within the central bank we took deliberate steps to promote female directors in the history of the bank woman had always been directors of human capital or directives of medical services and by the time I left the Central Bank we deliberately appointed very highly qualified or competent women to jobs that had been held by not just men but alpha men so we had the first female director of banking supervision web director of risk management where the director of internal audit well director of branch operations we had director of consumer protection and the special advisor to the governor as DG's I think we had about seven or eight of the 24 directors as female and believe me those who mended as well and much better than most of their male male colleagues but for me you see that's a starting point and it's because I transitioned from the central bank to this role and that transition entailed other forms of transition and one of the most fundamental transitions I had was a transition from an economist dealing with numbers and graphs and equations to dealing with the human beings behind those numbers it's one thing to talk about these figures you know we and and I mean America has gotten up and talked about finance and this is something we've all been guilty of this mindset as economists and elite in the central bank I used to look at GDP growth rate of inflation the reserves of the Federation and these are important numbers and I'm measured prosperity in those terms now is that prosperity in 2015 and I'm not apologetic the whole world in 2015 are going to Oxfam 62 individuals 62 individuals owned more than half of humanity the wealth in the hands of 62 individuals was higher than the total wealth in the hands of the bottom 50% of the world's population the 1% of the richest people in the world collectively owned more than the 99% below them so America too brother Gini coefficient and you can think about that in Nigeria in an era where we're growing were producing billionaires and people going on the Forbes list and Counting ourselves among prosperous nations actually had a situation where a famous politician who is unnamed said said that a mark of the economic prosperity of this country was the number of private jets we had it's the elite mindset now let me tell you a story when I became a Mia and this was within the first six months of being a Mia and every day I deal with these issues people come in someone to help for medical assistants someone to someone support for education someone food and so on and usually there's a time for for those appeals after we've taken the communication for the districts and on this day while taking the hills from the districts I heard this big scream from a lady who was waiting behind and I said go and check what is happening and when they checked they found that this woman waiting for her turn to ask the Emir for assistance while waiting there her baby died and her baby died because she had come to the AMIA to appeal for assistance she needed three thousand naira to buy drugs context that is much less than ten dollars now for me coming from the central bank and been an Emir I came face to face for maybe the first time in my life with what it means when we say X percent of Nigerians are living on less than one dollar a day it means that for those people their children die every day because it cannot have all three thousand around drugs three thousand era they don't have access to antenatal care they have no access to immunization if they get malaria that's a death sentence their daughters get taken out of school seventy-five percent of adolescent girls in the northwest are married we have the highest rate of VV fistula in the world I have heard this figure about 62 percent of Nigerians living in poverty but just as you look at inequalities vertically you must also look at inequalities Horizonte and I'm coming down to the question of prosperity and peace sixty-two percent of Nigerians or maybe forty percent of it on what you look at but break down those numbers in Lagos State the poverty rate is eight point five percent in some far it is ninety one percent in car no it is seventy seven percent in you obey it is ninety percent and demographically these are the most populous parts of this country so think through those numbers and put human beings behind those numbers and then ask yourself how many Nigerians out of this 170 million are living on less than one dollar a day where do they live and is there likely to be peace and stability in those areas in the future it's simple until we begin to think of economics not in terms of GDP inflation reserves well in terms of how many human beings are able to eat three square meals a day how many young people have an education how many people have an opportunity in life we can never have peace Nigeria is a country today with 170 180 million people the median age is 19 in the next 20 years you will have at least 85 million Nigerians between the ages of 20 and 40 that is the population of Germany the third largest economy in the world 85 million what economy are we building for those people and that's only you think of all the things we've heard today it comes back to challenging the way we've been taught to think about economics and also challenging as bankers and I am a guilty person I mean I run a central bank on the basis of classical neoliberal macroeconomic theory I apologize for any damage of cost but the point remains look at all the ideological conversations in the world which no longer happen take the debate on migration we've all joined it migration is bad Africans are migrating to Europe but for whom but for Africans or but for Europeans when Africans were taught to migrate in the 17th century held in chained and put in ships and taken to plantations to work as slaves was that bad when you're against migrated to Algeria and Tunisia and South Africa and Nigeria a set of colonies and settler colonies and apartheid systems that was migration why wasn't that bad don't we realize that Africans are migrating to Europe because of the world in which we have created we've signed up global agreements Anamika would be a strong supporter of the free movement of capital across borders bring in capital are repatriated and have been an ideological supporter of that Europe strong supporter of free movement of goods and services across markets why is it so good for capital to move in and out for goods to move in and out for raw materials to go officials to come but so bad for human beings to go a share in the prosperity of those countries why is it ok for you to sit in New York and London and bring in X billion dollars in natural capital market buy shares by currency make profit take it back but bad for the Nigerians to follow that money and try to share in that prosperity it's a conversation we must have the global agreements we have signed the ideology we have signed up to we playing a game who says a level playing field fine take the Nigeria under-16 football team put them on a playing field with the Brazilian national team the field is level who wins who wins you cannot have a level playing field when you sit down and sign up to agreements the were designed and fashioned by partners in an unequal relationship so where to begin so where to begin and all of us are all living in this post colonial mindset is to begin to ask ourselves where as Africans and as Nigerians where we are actually even whether we actually will think in independently and what will help us think independently is to continue asking that basic question in every economic statistic we look at in every transaction we go into how does this translate into the life of that human being so even the moment are we talking about and I'm a very strong supporter of women's causes and you know we've I've spent all my life supporting women's causes what I call elite immense causes we have too many queen bees how many of you who've become top bankers top politicians have actually done anything for those children who are taken out of school take our political life all the debates that happen governor's seeking elections president seeking election senator seeking elections the topics that are discussed can you tell me when last did you see a debate where politicians talked about what they equated about girl child education about forced marriage about domestic violence about the rights of women why divorced and left with children and catered for and why are we surprised if on the streets of Colonel or the streets of zephyra or the streets of Cecotto we see child beggars when we allow their fathers to marry three four wives and have 22 children on an income that cannot support those families and if they are on the street while we suppress that they go on drugs and they go on drugs while we suppress at the end of us radicalized individuals so continue to discuss this in sterile statistics you know Nigeria's were not seven percent random GDP in fact there was a particular year when I was governor where we all beat our chests you know and clubbed off ourselves for having become the second largest accorded largest economy in Africa okay through some mathematical i'ma cut up Abba Cadabra called rebasing of the GB we did not produce a single film or we just recalculated on computer and suddenly we became the biggest economy in Africa we're happy not because we're producing more than we're producing yesterday because we had done some reclassification so these numbers are important and America it's good to look at your bottom line your profits I'm sure you you need to give returns to your shareholders but I think for those of us who have been fortunate to work in the fields of Finance to work in the energy sector for those of us away in the upper-middle class I suppose I'm not middle-class I'm a feudal aristocrat before ever before for those of you we need to ask ourselves does this privilege not impose upon us a responsibility the Chad basin lost 90% of its water reserves we didn't lose those reserves overnight a loss those reserves over decades farmlands went waste desertification encroached as far back as 2008 a paper in Cape Town looked at the United Nations Human Development indices broke them down and this is why I say we must look at horizontal inequalities I broke these down and looked at them state by state and I remember saying in that paper that if Brno and UB we're a country of their own they were poorer than Asia and Cameroon and Chad but we didn't realize it so why are we surprised that that era is unstable we can't run away from the human being we can't run away from education in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping started the open up in China there were maybe 30 million graduates in China if at all today China has more graduates than the entire population of the United States 700 million Chinese we're living in poverty in 1978 that number is down to 30 million we talk about Chinese miracle what about an Asian miracle why is it a miracle it's not a miracle it's just about human beings doing what they needed to do and saying that we are going to build an economy that takes care of our people China goes to the table to negotiate Wall Trade Organization to negotiate international treaties when it goes to that table it asks itself what is good for China sorry this is part of a you see I'm happy to leave the Central Bank I deserve this double it first anyway so when we go for these events when we sign these contracts we should look between the lines and say what is it that's good to bring benefit to the Nigerian on the street and I think for me this is where we have failed we have failed to bring economics down to earth and economics can help us even in the most difficult compositions we're having today we have a constitution that says we must have a governor and a deputy governor and a state House of Assembly in every state 36 states you have a president and a vice president and a minister from every state you have 109 senators over 300 members of the House of Representatives you have 774 local government chairmen in each local government you have 10 councillors and a speaker a retinue of special advisers and assistants and you are surprised that you cannot be salary I mean really we are surprised that we spend in eighteen ninety percent of our revenue on public servants that's the system we designed so you won't have a conversion or restructuring let us have a current composition how do you reduce costs of governance without amending the structure do we need 40 30 legislators in every state do we need 500 as leaders in abuja must we have 36 ministers or more this is a constitutional conversation you don't have education you don't have public health we've seen the numbers infant mortality maternal death a child birth yet the states and the local governments who are supposed to provide education and health care do not have the lion share of government revenue let's have that conversation it can be an intelligent dialogue you don't need to shout Biafra osha Boko Haram let's sit on a table let's talk about what works for Nigeria at the end of the day devolution is not about ethnicity or religion devolution or revenue allocation formula or whatever it's all about bringing development to the grass roots and it is conversation that you should have but when we cloak this in gender in ethnicity in religion then first we lose the opportunity to make progress and second we reflect our own ignorance because at the end of the day if that is the problem it will never disappear if you divide Nigeria into 100 different countries you will still have multiple ethnicities multiple religions and you divide those 100 into another 100 and how do you identify yourself Amica is a carnal man we've been friends working in Colonel I don't know I don't wear maker comes from I don't know I do I don't think you caused essence of us coming from anywhere that then he is just a human be he's an individual so let's change this conversation and I'm hoping that as we talk about this economy and as we talk about and again this is not something that is targeted at any particular individual but we need we need to think about the way colonialism has left us and the way we have voluntarily remained in a post-colonial mindset the British gave me I set up a colony what did they want they wanted raw materials and a market for their goods we don't have the British today but we still exporting our crude oil to Britain I'm importing petroleum products they don't even need to have colonial officers we do need ourselves we're keeping the refineries open the greatest the largest export of the United Kingdom to Nigeria is what petroleum products and we are an oil producing country so I'm happy somebody is building a refinery I'm happier that person is from Cano but we need to have more why should we export cotton to China and import textile products why should we export our hides and skin and import shoes you know this is not rocket science if you Opia told the Chinese gentleman come what do you need to set up a factory here they told them they invited me set up a factory right there outside Addis employing 5,000 people producing shoes and bags and selling to youths and Laurent and Gucci and you know the leather in karna is called Moroccan leather the best leather in the world come and set up the factory in Colonel and the skin we don't sell we sell to Lagos pepper soup we consume our own GDP it's a delicacy because you look at these things and they're simple you know the Chinese did instead build your rockets we're not talking about building computers which is which is great to think about it or building aasta.martin cars no please okay why don't you just turn your cotton into fabric turn your fabric into garment and sell turn your hides and skin into leather turn your leather into shoes and bags and we used to these centuries ago 17th century Khanna was exported shoes and bags trans-sahara to the arab world 5 million worth in the 18th century economic history 100 years of data on Nigerian trade before colonialism in only 15 years if we have a trade deficit what happened what changed why is if you appear doing it why is Cote d'Ivoire doing it why is Ghana doing it why is Morocco doing it where the giant of Africa a giant with clay feet so we must first of all stop being in denial and the way to wake up is to look not other people in this room because you do not represent Nigeria we do not represent Nigeria for every young northern Muslim girl like her there are millions who did not even complete primary education and they walk around with wares trading they get married off without their consent they produce children they get beaten after some time they get divorced and I'm talk about what I know what I deal with every day four or five children somebody wakes up and says I divorce you go home her father sent her maybe the father as we heard from Miss Graham Douglas maybe when the father married her off he thought she was seeking a burden of him of himself taking of one daughter she comes back with a baggage of six that he did not produce that he has take care of and his income has not gone up which is fine but what is bad about it is that our system does not even see this as a problem and the system does not protect them now who is going to protect them it's us it's those of us who have been privileged to get this education to give our daughters this education to have our sisters with this education we are the ones responsible for protecting those voiceless majority and we have failed in that and you know today you go out in your car and they're hailing you rank a today in twenty years they were such carrion stones because those young people that you see on the street are going to be young men and young women without an education are without jobs so you tell me there's no prosperity without peace I say to you there's no peace without prosperity thank you [Applause]

16 thoughts on “The Next 100: No Peace, No Prosperity – HRH. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (Emir of Kano)

  • I'm really gonna meet this great emir when ever I return to Nigeria, I wish I'll be fortuned to do so

  • Sanusi you talk but you do nothing. You have the changes to deal with the insidious oil subsidies but you fail to deal with it. Then you decided to become the Emir of Kanu and you married more than one wife and you complaining about another Muslim men who are marry more than one wife. If you are serious then advocate for a law of all girl education right then role you sleeve raise money under the Emir of Kanu then invest the money in industries and services in the north. And inspire other Muslim learder to start investing in industry. This will revolutionise the north of Nigeria turned the Muslims into industrialist rather than spending all day and night praying and being useless. You are a leader stop talking and start acting. You know a twelve year old girl cannot be a wife and in Northern Nigeria everybody knows this as well and everybody in Northern Nigeria knows that if someone has a child they ought to be responsible for that child. If you enacted a law to deal with this problems the people of Nigeria will support it. People appointed you as a learner not to tell them the problems they already know about they appointed you to act.

  • The underlying reason for the problems identified is the entrenched corruption of having incompetent people in public office from the dustman to the duke at the expense of qualified Nigerians . Nigeria no longer promotes merit. Good thing the Emir remains fearless in espousing Nigeria’s problems in spite of the attempt to gag him. Poverty will be reduced in Northern Nigerian if Human Resources and capital from Southern Nigeria find peaceful anchors there as was the case decades ago. The political elites in the North are too interested in naked politics and its financial accompaniment instead of development and mass education. Time for them to listen to the Emir.

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