Dictation of HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II’s Direct Response to the Second Question(Dayo)Question: I want to request please that His Royal Majesty should answer this and then I want you to come through to that. Which is about the constitutional accountability of government at all levels for the provision of quality education, healthcare and other basic rights of citizens.
Royal Highness, what do you, what would you say is the challenge after that, please your excellency, I’ll like you to handle both that gap that you pointed to which now Alero has brought up and then His Excellency now outlining for us what he believes or what seen to be the challenge of constitutional accountability of government at all levels for the provision of quality education, healthcare and other basic rights of citizens. Thank you.
(HRH Sanusi II): One of the big issues here is that the people who are responsible for holding people accountable are the ones who are themselves not accountable.
So, take a simple example. Take these fuel subsidies. Very often, they are not provided for in the budget.
There is no appropriation for them. Yet every year, we spend billions and billions of dollars out of NNPC.
I mean, it’s one of the reasons I lost my job, right? They spent billions and billions of dollars, okay, on fuel subsidies without appropriation by the National Assembly.Now, under the Constitution, these are grounds for impeaching the President.
Because this is spending without appropriation. But every President has done it. No one holds them to account. The National Assembly does not hold them to account.Alero spoke about how much you’re spending on food. But when you have food inflation at 21% per annum, the price of food doubles every three years, it’s a no brainer. It’s like …it’s simple.
Now, somebody is responsible for ensuring we have price stability. And we don’t have price stability. Now, these are the kinds of issues as a country that we do not focus on. But I mean, for today, as I think I would like to say something, I like to put the governors on the spot. Okay, on one more thing.
Not everything with the SDGs is about money. Okay, so look at look the poverty numbers, okay. You’ve got this huge concentration of poverty in the northwest and the Northeast, these concentrations are reflected in all sorts of human development indices, including per capita income, life expectancy, maternal mortality, and so on.
But what is the driver of poverty in the north ?rapid demographic growth that cannot be supported by the underlying resources.Okay, you’ve got fertility rates in the Northeast, and the northwest of over seven, per woman on the average, where the rest of the country is about four, which is still high compared to other countries, but still below seven. And then these societies are largely polygamous. You cannot address poverty in the north without a proper population policy.
You can’t address population policy without the right social policies around the age at which girls get married and regulations around polygamy, responsibility for the child. Now, as Emir, I said, Okay, look, people are refusing to do this because of religion.
I got together, a group of religious scholars who worked for three years to produce a code that seeks to address these issues, seeks to put some sense some sensibility around the age at which you marry okay? Then about the about the waythe way you would divorce woman, the rate at which poor people can just go marry 2, 3, or 4 wives, have children, and drop them on the streets until you address those from a legal perspective and have sanctions and change those attitudes. Governor Fayemi just said four million children were enrolled in the last five years , okay how many more children were born in those five