How long can Nigeria stand the IMF bullying

By Haruna Usman

Africa’s most populous and richest nation, Nigeria is currently being held by unprecedented economic and human meltdown that only God knows the limit to which excruciating economic pains will vanish.

Successive governments in Nigeria have made frantic efforts to accept the International Monetary Funds, IMF, bullying, but met steel wall caused by heavy resistance because it takes a courageous and hard-hearten leader to dance to the tune of the world economic controller the IMF. Goodluck Jonathan was there but could not remove it as his attempt almost burnt the country down with massive protest across the 36 states including the center Abuja. He quickly backtracked and peace returned.

Towards the tail end of Buhari-led government attempts were made but the APC central government felt it would loose power at the centre if they remove subsidy. Cunningly however , the Muhammadu Buhari-led government removed subsidy in the budget known to all Nigerians but in the template lies things to be done before the final removal of subsidy.

On May 29, 2023, in a thank you for voting me message, President Bola Tinubu said, “subsidy is gone”. It sounded like a joke to many Nigerians, but the president was damn serious and is indeed gone. Long before now, Nigerian leaders told the poor that only elites are enjoying the subsidy so it has to go, but even at that we have not seen a single person arrested for embezzling monies for subsidy payments, yet we chorused, “Let the subsidy go”.

Now that the heat is on, we realised almost lately that indeed the poor are the direct beneficiaries of petrol subsidy, now who will tell the president that we were misled to believe the rich are the beneficiaries of subsidy. Nigerians are speaking through protest and the central government waved it off as political gimmick by the opposition to pull down Tinubu government, the lone statement caused widespread anger triggering intermittent protest before the entire nation goes up in flames in terms of protest.

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Investigations revealed that no nation would progress or remain peaceful when it implement the IMF policies. They know ours is a petrol-dependent economy with none functioning refineries can never stand without subsidy, now the bully is working and the country is sinking economically. To douse growing tension across the country, Nigeria’s federal government ordered the release of grains to crash food prices little did they know that is not the supply chain but dry pockets of the citizenry caused by hyper inflation; prices change per hours in Nigeria.

The one billion dollar question is how can nearly 300 million Nigerians access the federal government’s grains. And even if they do, how can that be sustained. Finally, the way out, in my own opinion, is for the president to drop his ego and open all the land borders, remove ban on rice and other items required for domestic use in the households and strengthen the naira.

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