Beware Of IMF’s Ill-Adaptable Theories And Policies, TUC Warns FG

Bobboi Bala Kaigama-TUCThe Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has advised the Federal Government to beware of the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

The TUC stated this yesterday in a statement signed by its President General, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kagaima in reaction to the visit of Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to the country.

According to the TUC boss, the warning became imperative following the country’s bitter past experience with the financial body.

He said, “Our country is already in dire state and cannot cope with the IMF’s characteristic shylock conditionalities attached to its credit facilities, and must not accept same if that is what the visit is about”.

Ms Lagarde, who is presently in Nigeria for a four-day working visit, however, told State House correspondents on Tuesday that her visit had nothing to do with negotiating loans for the country.

The statement reads in part, “For the umpteenth time, we wonder aloud: Can’t we solve our challenges as a nation without foreign intervention? Must the Brettonwood institutions be the ones to always determine and tell us when our economy is doing well and when to devalue the naira?

“Instances abound of countries that were hitherto nowhere in terms of development in the 1970s/80s but have successfully transformed into giants and premium net exporters of goods and services.

“Instead of exploring its other natural resources, our country has stayed glued to its blasé identity as a monocultural oil-based economy.

“Conversely India, China, Malaysia, South Africa, Indonesia, etc, are all doing well today because they looked inward to all their potential. Meanwhile, the biggest buyer of our oil, the United States, has become a large exporter of the same product, clogging the market and causing our economy to gasp for air.

“We are hard pressed to believe that the IMF chief’s visit is a mere courtesy call. True to the traditions of her organisation, she would definitely look to dabble and meddle in our fiscal and monetary challenges and seek to sell our government another of their portage of self-serving, ill-adaptable theories and policies that are sure to further impact negatively on the country’s revenue and increase the pressure on the naira in the foreign exchange market.

“While we are not adverse to genuine mutually beneficial partnership with the Fund or any other body, we shall fight any agenda inimical to the economic and other interests of the Nigerian masses”.

The TUC further stressed that Lagarde’s meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari should yield improvements in the business environment, promote opportunities for growth in the private sector, accelerate job creation and strengthen social cohesion.

It advised that the policies that do not work for the country should be discarded while advocating a renegotiation of the current loans in the light of the burden that debt-servicing constitutes to the budget, which is about 23 percent of the total budget.

The TUC also warned that no devaluation of the naira should be countenanced unless the percentage of devaluation is equivalent to the percentage increase in the national minimum wage.