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Fuel Subsidy: Labour Fumes As IMF Warns FG Against Fresh Borrowings

The IMF said this in its ‘Nigeria: Selected Issues Paper’ report, which was prepared by a staff team of the Fund as background documentation for its periodic consultation with Nigeria.

The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have accused the International Monetary Fund of decieving the country.

This comes as the International Monetary Fund said Nigeria will likely depend on overdrafts from the Central Bank of Nigeria to fund its proposed N2.55tn petrol subsidy bill over FG’s plan to extend the fuel subsidy regime by 18 months.

The IMF said this in its ‘Nigeria: Selected Issues Paper’ report, which was prepared by a staff team of the Fund as background documentation for its periodic consultation with Nigeria.

According to the report, fuel subsidy negatively affects the country’s fiscal position, increasing fiscal deficit.

However, Labour said the international organisation had misled Nigeria in the past.

According to the Deputy National President, NLC, Joe Ajaero, the IMF does not mean well for the masses and workers.

He said Nigeria must do away with IMF’s advice and loans if it must become economically independent.

He said, “The truth is that IMF does not pretend to work for the masses and the workers. The IMF is for the establishment. They give headlock to debtor countries to swallow and die.

“There is no country partnering with the IMF that has survived by its advice. The recent history of Greece and other places is a clear testimony for anybody who wants to take to the IMF advice.

“The IMF is giving Nigeria such advice because if they destroy Nigeria economy, it is as good as destroying African economy.

“This is another level of colonialism and if you look at the revolution of economic development, you would see that the continued subjugation of our economy to the dictate of these institution shows that we are not economically independent.

“We must seek the economic independence. If Nigeria wants to survive, it should do away with the IMF’s loans and advice and move ahead, looking at it own made recovery strategy.’”

Supporting this view, the first National Deputy President, Trade Union Congress, and National President of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Tommy Etim, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the socio-econmic implication of such policy on the citizens must first be considered.

He noted that the IMF once misled the country with the Structural Adjustment Programme, adding that the country was still grappling with the effect till date.

He said, “It is unfortunate that we are not looking at the economy from our cultural perspective. We are just looking at the economy from what is happening in other clime.

“In 1985, that was how they misled us to adopt Structural Adjustment Programme which eventually led to the economic calamity we are facing today. Nobody can dictate to you how to run your country. We must look inward. They have seen Nigeria as a dumping group for their economy.

“Whatever policy they have, they bring it to Nigerian economy and we have fallen prey because of what they call aid. These are things that have perpetually kept Nigeria where we are.

“It is the right time for us to do what is right for our economy. No amount of pressure from IMF can make us derail from our economic principle which would help us reduce our borrowing.”

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