The Emir of Kano, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Thursday in Kano identified the emergence of “briefcase billionaires” and illiteracy as the major factors stifling the economic growth and development of the country.
Sanusi, while speaking at the end of a three-day Northern Regional Conference on Security, Justice and Development: Effective implementation of intervention measures,’ organised by Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, noted that when people get wealth they did not work for, “what follows would be disastrous for the nation.”
“When people just get wealth they didn’t work for, what that signifies was that, many injustices were permeating round many quarters of the society, meaning there is something wrong in the system that was put in place for a very long time of our national history.”
He queried, “How many of our briefcase billionaires can show you their business plants and the number of people they employ in their companies? The companies are non-existent in the first place. So, what are we talking about?”
Sanusi argued that the more the society produces briefcase billionaires, the more the masses would get more impoverished.
“We need to build an economy that looks at people; not that which further creates gaps, unimagined gaps between people. You cannot call this capitalism either. It is through such kind of arrangements that end up in creating an insecure society. We all created the insecurity we are suffering from. Justice is one of the key and fundamental issues that can address our predicaments,” the royal father emphasised.
Sanusi also identified illiteracy as another factor accounting for economic woes. He argued that, when people were left without education, what would follow would be disturbing and devastating.
He said, “Our children are suffering from malnutrition, illiteracy; our women are suffering from poor health care delivery. We created our insecurity ourselves. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. So, whenever we talk of poverty we need to look at the nature of our economy. We need to ask ourselves the kind of society we are producing.”
In his remarks, the Chairman, PRAWA Board of Trustees, Mr. Alabo Gabriel, said, “The purpose of the conference is to provide an efficient and effective platform for evaluating the current security, justice and development challenges of northern Nigeria, including the issue of insurgency in the North-East.”