Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, warned against reckless borrowing, saying the debt would be a burden to coming generation.
Mr Sanusi stated this at the unveiling of his book ‘For the Good of The Nation,’ on Tuesday in Lagos.
The book, a collection of essays and perspectives, was unveiled to mark his 60th birthday and to raise funds for the girl-child education, as well as promote and scale up the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs challenge of the United Nations.
According to him, this generation cannot continue borrowing to consume while passing the debt on to the next generation to pay.
He warned against reckless borrowing, saying it was a sacrifice that must be made now.
“Nigerians have to understand that the way we have run the state is unsustainable; we cannot continue subsidising fuel, we cannot continue subsidising power, look at other West African countries.
“It is desirable, but it is not sustainable and we have to be ready to make certain sacrifices.
“We have already made many but if we don’t make those sacrifices now to set the fiscal position of government in order, so that we are not relying on excessive oil, we are placing the future of this country in jeopardy,” he said.
On the secessionist agitations, the monarch said those who say they want to break-up this country do not know what they are talking about.
“I hope that my story and the story of many of us here is one that we will use to continue stressing that those who say they want to break-up this country do not know what they are talking about.
“We have to keep this country together and if we complain about it, it is because we love Nigeria and hopefully we will not just complain.
“Hopefully we will join hands together with those who are in this very difficult path to make Nigeria great.
“I honestly do not know what you are looking for seeking the country to secede,” he said.
The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria insisted that Nigeria had much to gain staying together as one.
He advised Nigerians to, in their own little way, help address the socio-economic challenges facing the country.
He urged people to stop looking up to the government to “solve all our problems” but join hands to help the government in solving some of its challenges.
Mr Sanusi, therefore, said the proceeds of the book launch would be channelled to his cause of educating the girl-child in line with the SDGs.
He lamented that many young girls graduated from secondary school but lacked the support to proceed to higher institutions.
He said the money would be channeled to a trust fund that hoped to raise 2 million dollars in the next five years to fund the cause.
The former CBN governor also called on governments to move the country to the path of fiscal sustainability.
Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, said efforts to raise the money were on and the responses were overwhelming saying, “Already, the first minimum target has been crossed.”
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who led the fund-raising, commended the initiative, saying the Bankers’ Committee had agreed on what it would do to support it.
“I feel honoured to have been given the privilege to be doing this today and I promise you that we will do our best to ensure that we raise more than 2 million dollars for this project.
“At the Bankers Committee, we deliberated on this subject and we will contribute substantially towards this project.
“Asides from the bankers that are here, the CACOVID team will do something to ensure that we honour you, Khalifa,” Mr Emefiele said.