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Monday, May 20, 2024

Open Letter to President Tinubu: Addressing Concerns Over Prioritizing World Bank & IMF Interests Over Nigerians’ Well-being

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Dear President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,
I personally write to express my deep concern regarding the recent series of decisions that seem to prioritize the interests of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the well-being of the Nigerian people. The removal of fuel subsidies and the gradual phase-out of electricity subsidies have led to significant hardships for millions of Nigerians, causing widespread economic instability, poverty, hunger and avoidable deaths.
Your administration’s decision to remove fuel subsidies on the very day of your inauguration was an unprecedented move that none of your predecessors attempted. And its disastrous consequences dealt a deadly blow to the lives of ordinary Nigerians who are yet to recover. The subsequent call by the IMF to phase out electricity subsidies has further exacerbated the situation, as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) increased electricity rates and your administration announced plans to eliminate remaining subsidies.
Your government frequently asserts that it is financially constrained and unable to continue allocating billions of naira towards subsidies. One might question where these funds are being directed instead. Could it be towards the extravagant luxuries enjoyed by those in power?
It is crucial that you, as our leader, come forward and explain the nature of the covenants you have entered into with the World Bank and IMF. We need to understand why you appear to prioritize the interests and instructions of these economic juggernauts over the welfare and cries of the Nigerians you were elected to serve.
Sir, it is pertinent to realise that the economic policies advocated by the IMF and World Bank, which your administration is adopting, have historically led to the deterioration of economies in numerous underdeveloped and developing nations. These policies involve reducing or eliminating government spending on vital sectors such as education, energy, healthcare, environment and price subsidies on basic necessities. Additionally, they promote devaluing national currency, increasing exports by exploiting natural resources, lowering real wages, and subsidizing export-oriented foreign investments. Furthermore, they encourage liberalizing financial markets to attract short-term portfolio investments, leading to financial instability and foreign liabilities. Also, they advocate eliminating tariffs and import controls, resulting in increased import dependency, undermining local industries, and exacerbating external indebtedness.
Your campaign slogan promised a “Renewed Hope,” but it seems that the hope you are renewing belongs to the World Bank and IMF at the expense of the hopes and aspirations of Nigerians. Nigeria, as a sovereign nation, holds an inherent dignity and autonomy that must be preserved unwaveringly, regardless of the individual or collective interests at play.
As a leader, it is significant to steer clear of perpetuating a vicious cycle of deprivation and despair, which may potentially culminate in anarchy. Your role encompasses safeguarding the welfare of your people, and it is imperative not to overlook this responsibility while making decisions that impact the lives of millions.
In conclusion, we urge you to reconsider your approach and prioritize the needs of the Nigerian people. We request a transparent explanation of your commitments with the World Bank and IMF, and we hope that you will reevaluate policies that seem to disregard the struggles of ordinary citizens. Your leadership has the power to bring about positive change, and we hope that you will make decisions that reflect the best interests of our nation.
Sincerely,
Comrade Muhammed Ishaq,
06/04/2024.

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