The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, has said that the success story of governance in Lagos State has positioned it as the leading state in the country, adding that Nigeria needs the state more than the oil-rich Niger Delta. Speaking last week while delivering a paper entitled: “Nigeria In Search of New Growth model” at the 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning in Kano State, the monarch said although every part of the country is important, people should not, however, be obsessed by a resource.
While highlighting that Lagos can do without the rest of the country based on its resources and pragmatic style of governance, he urged that Nigeria must not let Lagos go off the federation.His words:
“This country is better off with Lagos than with the Niger Delta. Let’s not make that mistake. We should be together as a country. Every part of the country is important. But, let us not be so obsessed by a resource, because we have had the commodity driven model, and we are blind to the potential of an alternative model. “Lagos doesn’t need oil. What is oil anyway? It is a raw material.
You don’t drink it. You need it to move your vehicles. Now, you have electricity. You need it to fill your generator. Now you have solar power and biomass. The future of oil is not there. So, those few people who are trying to break up this country over oil, after sometime, that oil will be worthless. You are better off being in a country that is based on this model. This is a country of the future, that is the past.”
The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor explained in his paper that the model of governance in Lagos State should be adopted by the Federal Government and other states in the federation, stressing that infusion of such model would ensure transparency, consistency and regulation. According to the emir:
“Lagos has done very well. If I have money to invest, I will invest it in Lagos, because it is attracting investment. Lagos has realised a long time ago that government cannot fund all its needs. And I just love what Lagos has done. The Lagos story is a story of what Nigeria can do with itself – transparency, consistency, regulations – and people can be rich.
“There is no problem if people can be rich while growing an economy. Nobody minds. But, in Nigeria, people become rich when people are dying. Let’s take the Lagos story and that’s why today, Lagos State is 30 per cent Nigerian non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Lagos can do without oil.”
The monarch also stressed the need for the availability of power supply as one of the panaceas for growth in the country, faulting, however, the process of privatisation of the power sector by the immediate past administration.
“Look at power generation. That is where we need to focus on. Let’s get the power reports back on track. Fantastic policy. Power was privatised. What happened? People bought DISCOs (distribution companies), because they had connections,” he said.