The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has urged Nigeria and Africa to push for review of the current World Economic Order to address the issue of migration on the continent.
The former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria made the call on Tuesday in Abuja while launching the Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria.
He said that contemporary foreign policies of nations could no longer be discussed in isolation of domestic policies and expressed concern that the current economic world order was in favour of Europe and developed countries.
He added that the situation had made those countries attractive to citizens of less developed countries, lamenting that Europe and the West, through trade liberalisation policy, used African resources to develop their regions and yet denied Africans dividends of the fruit of their labour.
The former CBN boss said “we have a composition in the world whereby in the last three decades, we have been talking about removal of barriers to movement of capital”.
Sanusi added: “But I feel a little upset when I see African leaders going to Europe and sit down talking of how to stop the migration of labour which is not an African problem really.
“It is European problem which was created partly by the world order.”
According to him, the trade liberalisation policy has set up an international trade environment that impoverishes half of the world, with some persons supplying raw materials of imported or finished goods.
He said: “We set up the world system that transfers resources of Africa to the rest of the world, are we surprise that we have poverty, insecurity and some people are moving from this part of the world to other part to seek for better life?.
“I will like to see a conversation on migration that is part and parcel of a wider conversation of the world order on what can the world do to develop Africa.
“When we go and sit with the President of France, let’s not talk about how many guns or soldiers you can give us, let’s talk about how many solar panels you can build in the Sahel and generate electricity and create industry and create jobs.”
According to him, this is what can stop people from seeking for greener pasture in France and other parts of the world.
He said: “I speak as an economist, but I don’t see how we can conduct foreign policy without having these economic conversation.”
Sanusi chided Nigeria and South Africa for withdrawing from signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, noting that “it is surprising that the two biggest economies in Africa withdrew from signing such economic agreement”.
He said: “I could not believe that we signed World Trade Agreement, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other economic pacts and cannot signed AfCFTA.
“We have trade relations with America and with China and we cannot have trade within Africa, not having the two giant economies in Africa in it is serious.”
He called for conscious efforts to develop intra-African trade to enhance the growth of the continent.
He noted that 65 per cent of trade in Europe was within Europe, while Africa had only 10 per cent, saying “let us develop our infrastructure and connect Africa, let us make conscious effort to increase intra-African trade”.
The President of AFRPN, Ambassador Gani Lawal, said that the plan of the association was to establish a credible think-thank for the government and people of Nigeria.
Lawal said that the association was influenced by the feelings that foreign relations as a subject had been subjected to permutations and conjectures by those with little knowledge of the subject.
He added: “This is coupled with the fear that our government may begin to patronise quacks and soothsayers on foreign relations, when we have in abundance erudite personnel and professionals in world affairs.”