_By C. E. Oyibo
Subsidies are anathema to the neoliberal policies peddled by the West (particularly the US and Western Europe) and international financial institutions like the IMF. There is now a convincing argument that the Jonathan administration implemented the fuel subsidy removal on January 1, 2012, at the instance of the IMF. According to a credible report, the fuel price increase was “compelled on African Nations by the IMF due to supposedly rising global oil prices and the Europe recession.” We will recall that the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde visited Nigeria in December 2011to meet with President Jonathan. Reportedly, the purpose of the visit was to “drive home” the fuel subsidy removal “directive”!
To the degree that there is such an IMF influence or “directive”, the Nigerian government has failed to learn any lesson from the IMF/Babangida-imposed structural adjustment program (SAP) of the 80s/90s and the IMF’s bungling—not to talking of devastation—of various economies across the developing world: from Latin America, to Asia, to Africa.
The Nigerian government appears to be resistant to the reality that IMF/Western-incited economic policy will necessarily place the interest of the West ahead of Nigeria's, and that there is no way—really—for us to emerge as winners under an arrangement where Western countries and institutions remotely control our domestic industrial policy.
While the Jonathan administration should be aggressively focusing on investing the country’s oil wealth in infrastructure and human capital development, on fighting corruption, on strengthening our decaying institutions, and on developing the economy through industrialization, it is busy pandering to the rogue beneficiaries of the crippled system, imbibing IMF and Western policy conditionality, and waging an all-out war against the Nigerian populace.
The Jonathan administration needs to realize that in failing to listen to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, and by acting in a manner that is directly contrary to the preponderance of their wishes, it is becoming dictatorial. And, as Victor Hugo is said to have suggested, when dictatorship becomes a fact, revolution becomes a right.