Samuel Marshall

In an endless struggle to meet the conditionalities placed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria is now also set to completely remove the subsidy on electricity besides the subsidy already removed on petrol.

The IMF handed down the definite rule  while advising Nigeria on pathways to restoring macroeconomic stability. In a report entitled ‘IMF Executive Board Concludes Post Financing Assessment with Nigeria’, the lending institution counselled Nigeria on the serious necessity.

Due to subsidies paid on electricity by the government, Nigeria’s power sector is allegedly experiencing a lowering in cash profits, even as the country had spent N204.59 billion on electricity subsidy in the third quarter of 2023, and plans to spend an additional N1.6 trillion in 2024 to enable citizens to access power at a low cost.

According to watchers, the age-old IMF guidance onto deregulation and eventual removal of all subsidies on the people’s benefits are never succeeding in ameliorating the poverty of Nigerians.

Still expressing the never-ending expectancy that life in Nigeria under removed subsidy will get easier, the wife of the president, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in a recent statement, said that “the removal of fuel subsidy is to save the future of Nigeria”.

Too much cleverly-worded advice from the IMF have rather ultimately stalled per-capita growth, increased poverty, heightened food insecurity and worsened the hardships.

The situation is being stretched to the limit even though the government had released cereals from the grains reserve, provided subsidized fertilizers to farmers and capped retail fuel prices by way of partly reversing the adverse effects of the fuel subsidy removal.

Among the populace, these efforts cannot be trusted in do far as they are calculated to take more from the people and give back just a little to them.

In a recent interview with Channels Television, human rights lawyer Femi Falana said, “there is no country in the world where government does not subsidize one product or the other.”

He decried the excessive consultation of the IMF instead of utilizing the National Economic Council headed by the Vice-President and comprising the governors and the Minister of Finance – which is the body authorized by law that the presidents should consult.

He queried why that body has abdicated it’s responsibility to the IMF and World Bank. Falana had also sued the government to compel it to fix commodity prices.”

He asked the IMF to stop mounting pressure on the federal government to multiply the hardship of Nigerians.***




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