The World Bank and the Parody of Mischief – Blueprint Newspapers Limited

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Since the 1980s and 1990s, the governments of many countries have distrusted the World Bank and its activities because they have had their fingers burnt many times while experimenting with the “poison gift” (economic model) of the global financial institution. Nigeria has not been spared the World Bank’s ax to the “industrialized world”. The latest parody of mischief against Nigeria by one of the Breton Woods institutions is no different from their usual antics. This should be seen as one of their many gimmicks and machinations against countries they label as “third world countries”.

The World Bank had, in the latest edition of its Nigeria Development Update 2021 report, accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of failing to take concerted action to curb inflation in 2021 despite the inflationary shock pushing around eight million Nigerians under the threshold of poverty. This position is nothing but a brutal display of double standards, mischief and arrogant hypocrisy. With every stroke of the imagination, the Washington-based institution established by 43 nations in New Hampshire, USA, in July 1944 to, among other things, help rebuild the shattered post-war economy and promote international economic cooperation has long been derailed from its original purpose.

Instead, he has been preoccupied with doling out misleading economic policies to developing countries and building them into conditionalities to qualify for malicious loans. And where his advice is refused, he resorts to cheap blackmail and sometimes incites the people against his government. The track record shows that leaders of “self-determination” like the late Libyan leader Mu’ammar Gaddafi, Sadam Hussein who rejected their bad advice are either trapped, killed or dethroned.

The latest position of the World Bank is, for all intents and purposes, to achieve one thing, which is to discredit and by implication incite Nigerians against the government led by Buhari. This unfortunate plot died on arrival because Nigerians cannot be fooled today like decades ago when the World Bank and their cronies pressured the then military president, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babaginda, to adopt the dreaded structural adjustment program (SAP).
The program was a disaster. As the government tried to keep its place by easing fiscal policy, it only made things worse. Inflation was erratic, rising from 16% to 55% in 1987-88, then falling to 7% in 1990 and rising to 50% in 1992. Worse still, Nigeria’s debt to the World Bank and IMF became a insurmountable debt. quantity. In 1993, it accounted for half of total expenditure, or N51,616.9 million.

As a result of the SAP, the Nigerian middle class and civil servants shrank. In order to control fiscal policy, the government reduced spending on social infrastructure. This meant that people’s wages increased much more slowly and their standard of living.

In the dozens of countries where the World Bank imposed its Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), people were not passive in the face of deteriorating living standards, reduced access to public services, devastated environments and plummeting job prospects. The pages of newspapers, magazines and academic journals were filled with damning analyzes of structural adjustment. The adoption of SAP in many countries has resulted in mass movements and protests on every continent, but they are not often reported in the Western mainstream press.

To cite a few examples among countless countries where the structural adjustment program orchestrated by the World Bank caused carnage, in October 1988 more than 200 people were killed in riots over high prices and unemployment as a result SAP in Algeria. Between January and June 1989, students at the University of Cotonou went on strike, paralyzing the institution for six months, to protest against the non-payment of scholarships for several months and the government’s intention to completely cease pay them in 1989 as part of the SAP reforms.

In Bolivia, 20,000 people demonstrated in a general strike called by unions, with the support of many agricultural workers, against the government’s sharp increase in food and gasoline prices as part of its SAP designed by the World Bank on March 1, 1985. Niger, Ecuador, Zambia, Argentina, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico and many countries called developing countries witnessed rebellion and strong protests following of SAP. This list is just a tip of the iceberg of World Bank carnage.

The World Bank acts as a lender to countries in need of financial assistance. Through their “conditionalities”—or policy reforms required to receive loans—it maintains a powerful negotiating position from which it can influence the domestic policies of developing countries.

Fundamentally, the activities of the World Bank undermine democracy in developing countries. Their conditional loans are traps for the economic policies of poor countries, regardless of people’s preferences or national conditions.

If the World Bank operated transparently, if poor countries were relieved of the shackles of debt, if institutions did not impose user fees for health care and other harmful policies, then countries would be much freer to pursue different economic strategies in accordance with the democratic determinations of their people.

For example, in May 1992, the World Bank again pressured General Babangida’s military government to issue a decree that gives government agencies the right and authority to operate and maintain a foreign account in the stranger. As a matter of duty, the NNPC, NLNG, NPA, FIRC and others have all been mandated to operate a foreign account under this decree; it was detrimental to Nigerian banks. Research shows that this enactment law is the origin or genesis of the pressure on the Nigerian economy.

The record indicates that these revenues are generated from oil and gas trading activities. By virtue of this act, our beloved economy has been strangled and robbed of its prosperity for the benefit of the western economy. Statistically, records show that 95% of the sales and revenue generated by NNPC and NLNG over the years are currently domiciled in foreign banks. The inability to mop up these funds in the federation’s consolidated revenue account has left our country stagnant and lacking in development. The pressure on the Naira will continue, so our commercial banks will run out of foreign currency.

Fortunately, Nigeria is gradually freeing itself from the grip and monopoly of global financial organizations. Allow me to congratulate Nigerians on Nigeria’s re-election to the African Union and the United Nations Security Council. Good enough, President Buhari has continued to keep the faith with his promise to continue to fight injustice against the small countries of the world. As a remedy, the 1992 Military Act, which empowers Nigerian companies like NLG and NNPC to operate offshore bank accounts, should be revised to entrench transparency in the operations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). ) in Nigeria like other African countries. countries.

Over the past seven years, the Buhari-led government has implemented many people-oriented policies that have empowered businesses, vulnerable groups and youth. These initiatives have translated into tangible livelihoods for Nigerians. The latest report on Nigeria is nothing but the imagination of the World Bank and its insiders.

Ibrahim is the Director, Communications and Strategic Planning, of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC).

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