CBN leads $2mn fund-raising initiative for former governor

The Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele has led a fund-raising initiative and launch of the ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge Fund’, a midwife of his predecessor and former Emir of Kano Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

The governor commended the initiative, saying the Bankers’ Committee had agreed on what it would do to support it.

His words: “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 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,” Emefiele said.

Sanusi’s successor, Godwin Emefiele who spoke at the occasion covering the unveiling of Sanusi’s book ‘For the Good of The Nation’, launch of Sanusi’s pet SDG fund and 60th birthday anniversary said the government cannot do everything and appealed to Nigerians to support the cause.

On his part, the former Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, called on the federal government to “move the country to the path of fiscal sustainability.” Sanusi said the country cannot continue to borrow to fund consumption, calling for urgent and collective sacrifice from all Nigerians.

According to him, this generation cannot continue borrowing to consume while passing the debt on to the next generation to pay.

The book, a collection of essays and perspectives, was unveiled to mark Sanusi’s 60th birthday in Lagos.

He added that the proceeds of the book launch would be channelled to his cause of educating the girl child in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN).

“The money would be channelled to a trust fund that is looking at raising $2 million in the next five years to fund the cause,” he said.

He lamented that many young girls finish secondary education but lack the support to proceed to higher institutions. He said society should be able to provide the required support.

The former CBN governor also insisted that Nigeria had much to gain staying together as one.

He dismissed secessionist groups, noting that “those who say Nigeria would break up do not know what they are talking about.”

Sanusi, however, said criticisms about the manner the country is being governed would continue because “we truly love Nigeria.”

He said the greatest lesson he has learnt in life is that it is great to be a Nigerian. “We will keep Nigeria together. If we complain, it is because we love it,” he said.

“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 the government in order, so that we are not relying on excessive oil, we are placing the future of this country in jeopardy,” he said.

Mr 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.”

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