Nigeria

 

Nigeria needs $35 billion annually on infrastructure to sustain economic growth

Premium Times

November 12, 2017

The Managing Director, Infrastructure Bank, Adekunle Oyinloye, has said that Nigeria needs $35 billion per annum for five years to sustain a robust economic growth. Mr. Oyinloye, said this in Abuja while presenting a paper on “Economic Indices and Relationship with Infrastructure Development” at a forum for set 1988 Economics Class, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. While speaking on the role of infrastructure in economic development, Mr. Oyinloye said capital investments in infrastructure was a reliable avenue for engendering sustainable economic growth and development.

“According to the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), Nigeria needs about $35 billion per annum for a succeeding period of five years to sustain robust economic growth.

“That is what we need but we have never gone beyond about $12 billion; so it estimated that the infrastructure funding needs for the next 30 years is in the region of $3 trillion.

“The NIIMP relies on empirical data to identify critical linkages between economic growth, sustainability and Infrastructure development.

“And emphatically noted that developed economies typically record core infrastructure stock and value of about 70 per cent of this stock as proportion

“With power and transportation infrastructure usually accounting for at least half of that total stock volume.

“In contrast to national benchmark however, Nigeria’s core infrastructure stock is estimated as at today to be around 20 to 25 per cent of our GDP,” he said.

Breakfast Bed Tray with Reading Rack According to Mr. Oyinloye, infrastructure is a key ingredient for enhancing the nation’s productivity and economic growth. He, however, said it was important to utilize relevant economic indices to ascertain its level of investment. He explained that for emerging and frontier economies, the imperative for governments in terms of infrastructure investments was to attract private participation in infrastructure financing. Also, Salamatu Isah, the Head of Department of Economics, ABU, in her remarks said lack of infrastructure had been a major problem in the country. Ms. Isah recalled a recent statistics by the NBS which showed that services and other sectors had the highest rates while the manufacturing sector had the lowest. According to her, the low rate performance by the manufacturing sector is due to the obvious challenges of infrastructure in the country.

She however called on the government and relevant authorities to ensure infrastructure development in the country so as to improve  the basic standard of living  of Nigerians.

{I fully support this outlook for Nigeria. Massively expanding Nigeria’s infrasrtucture is vital for its economic future, and security. It cannot be delayed without endangering the nation.}

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Lawrence Freeman Receives “Leadership Award”

Dr. Sylvester O. Okere nominated me for this award. Received on July 29, 2017.

It reads: “For Generous Commitment of Time, Support & Inspiration to Africa Endeavors”

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City of London Declares War on Nigeria President Buhrai Looks to China

By Lawrence Freeman,

April 26, 2016

      The Financial Times-(FT), speaking for the City of London, the headquarters of the Western financial system, has declared their intent to break the will of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who has up this moment resisted devaluing his nation’s currency. The April 13 editorial of the  FT, entitled, “Nigeria’s new start is in danger of derailing” echoes the not so veiled edict to devalue the naira, delivered by Christine Legarde, head of  International Monetary Fund, when she visited Nigeria at the beginning of this year.

      Ignoring the reality that the Trans-Atlantic economies themselves are in a state of collapse, their orders to devalue the naira would only further bankrupt Nigeria and increase the suffering of its already poor citizens. As a result of years of mismanagement Nigeria has become a totally import dependant economy, thus a decline in the value of the naira would instantly make basic necessities of life unaffordable. President Buhari has wisely shunned these demands, remembering as do many Nigerians, what happened to Nigeria after President Buhari was removed from office in 1985 by Ibrahim Babangida. Following Burai’s ouster, the new government immediately adopted the IMF’s structural adjustment programs-(saps) including devaluing the Naira that resulted in the destruction of the economy from which Nigeria has never recovered fully.

Threats From the West: Devalue Or Else

            After stating that support for President Buhari is “evaporating” a year after his election, the FT reports that Nigeria is: “Starved of fuel, electricity and foreign exchange the economy is grinding to halt. Businesses are laying off staff in droves.” Their solution is to devalue Nigeria’s currency that they claim “fixed at an unrealistic level against the dollar.” These financial predators, who thrive like sharks off so called free-trade currency manipulations, falsely claim that the naira’s value is distorting the “free markets” and holding back growth.

      President Buhari said no to Lagarde in January, said no to the U.S., and has repeatedly resisted all sorts of pressure tactics and arm twisting over the last several months for devaluation. He knows that with Nigeria’s huge dependence on imports, a devaluation from the official rate of 1 dollar for 198 naira towards the black market rate of 1 dollar to 300-350 naira would drive Nigerians further into extreme poverty and death, reminiscent of the conditions 1985-1986 that followed the IMF ordered devaluation of the naira under Babangida. Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, in response to discussions at the IMF-WB Spring meetings in DC, politely said, no thank you to the western financial institutions, and made clear that Nigeria will not use the IMF loan facility to go further into debt. She went on to say that “Nigeria is not sick” and that this government will rebuild the Nigerian economy by diversification so as not to be dependent on oil as the only revenue source. Adeosun fully backs the president’s policy of supporting the naira and has said she will not implement polices that harm the Nigerian economy “just to be “the darling of the IMF and other multi-laterals.”         

     The FT on behalf of the western financial oligarchy is threatening Nigeria that without devaluation of the naira western financial institutions will not put their money into the Nigerian economy, even while they admit that such a move will dry up the country’s dollar reserves, and offers “no panacea.”

  They write: “It is a tough choice and an even tougher political environment to make it in. Nigerians are impatient for the gains they voted for and have little appetite for further pain. Mr Buhari squandered an opportunity to act early on when he enjoyed the goodwill of the public. But the painful measures required to set Nigeria’s economy on a sustainable growth path (sic) becomes no more palatable the longer he delays.”  

Nigeria Looks East for an Alternative

    Is it possible that the fulminations from the FT were related to President Buhari’s high level visit to China, where he met with President Xi Jinping and concluded a number of economic and financial agreements? In fact, the rant by Britain’s FT occurred while President Buhari was in China securing a commitment from them for $6 billion in credits to fund critical infrastructure projects. According to Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama: “It is a credit that is on the table as soon as we identify the projects.”  Minister Onyeama said that China “is not looking for political gain, not looking to dominate any country…they are ready to help us” with our economic building blocks.  China is already Nigeria’s largest trade partner

      This offer by China is entirely consistent with President Ji’s “win-win” approach and his leadership for the “One Belt-One Road” global infrastructure policy, the launching of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the creation of the BRICS nation’s New Development Bank. Increasingly, African nations are realizing that western governments and financial intuitions will not invest in long term, low interest credits to fund Africa’s huge infrastructure deficit, without which, Africa will never experience the level of real economic growth required to sustain their expanding population.

      Another feature of President Buhari’s visit was the securing of currency swap agreements between Nigeria’s Central Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest lending intuition in the world. Although the amount of the currency exchange has not revealed, its intention is clear; to facilitate trade between the two giants. Nigeria is the largest economy and the most populated nation in Africa and China is the most dynamic economy and most populated nation in the world. To further integrate the two economies, Nigeria will use the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency that will diversify its reserves from strictly relying on the dollar, and allow traders to bypass dollar pricing and dollar conversion for exports and imports.

     Not to be overlooked was President Buhari’s visit to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation during his trip. Nigeria is the first international customer of the Chinese corporation, having already purchased two satellites and has signed an agreement to buy two more. Aerospace also made a commitment to build satellite developing facilities in Nigeria to strengthen space cooperation between them. .

Nigeria’s Challenge

      Although there are no public reports of an agreement on “panda bonds”- yuan denominated bonds to be sold on the international markets, there were discussions prior to President Buhari’s visit that Nigeria was looking for new mechanisms to raise money to cover its budget deficit, having made clear they will not borrow from the IMF.

      President Buhari has proposed an ambitious budget for Nigeria of 6.06 trillion naira ($30.6 billion) a third of which-$10 billion-will be dedicated to capital expenditures which is triple the amount of previous budgets. As a result of the dramatic collapse of the price of oil, which accounted for 70% of Nigeria’s revenues, the new budget will have a deficit of approximately $10-$11 billion. The government intends to raise funds for its deficit both externally and internally and is looking to China and possibly other nations for help.

      Nigerians knowledgeable about the government in Abuja believe the new president did not know how seriously underdeveloped the Nigerian economy was when he took control of the nation.  Recognizing the failure of previous administrations to build a vibrant economy, and mistakenly relying on oil as its primary revenue source for foreign exchange over many decades, President Buhari now wants to diversify the economy with an emphasis on rebuilding Nigeria’s agricultural sector. He has also stated correctly that: “No country can develop without power.” This is another challenge for Nigeria, which distributes less than 3,000 megawatts of electrical power, leaving half of its 180 million people without access to on line electricity, and daily blackouts through the country including Abuja.

      Improving the conditions of life for millions of Nigerians, and creating meaningful productive employment for tens of millions of unemployed youth necessitates a complete transformation of the Nigerian economy. This requires applying the methods of President Franklin Roosevelt, whose top down approach to rebuilding the U.S. economy “miraculously” led to a successful recovery following the Great Depression. Embracing the new paradigm of development put forward by China and the BRICS nations offers Nigeria a pathway to realize its untapped economic potential that has laid follow for more than a half century since its liberation from British colonialism.  

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Nigeria Votes Up a Change in Government; Huge Challenges and Opportunities Lie Ahead. Will Nigeria Look to the BRICS for Its Future?                                       

By Lawrence Freeman

April 30, 2015

The author witnessed the election and observed conditions in the country during his stay in Abuja from March 24 to April 3, and has been involved in Nigeria for almost 25 years.

Without a doubt, Nigeria’s March 28 Federal election for President, Senate, and House of Representatives was an historic accomplishment of the Nigerian people, and the single most important political event in Nigeria since it achieved independence from the British Empire in 1960. It will benefit Africa and the world. This election—free, fair, transparent, and unhampered by ethnic or religious violence—is special for the Nigerian people, who demonstrated they would no longer accept having their leaders imposed on them without their consent and participation. A spirit of freedom, such as the poet Percy Shelley described in his “Defense of Poetry,” helped guide the Nigerian people to act in this unprecedented manner. However, given the woeful economic conditions of this country, the most populous in Africa with 177 million people, the challenges facing the new government of President Elect General Muhammadu Buhari, who will be sworn in on May 29, are daunting, but not insurmountable.

Of 68.9 million registered voters, 29.4 million turned out to vote (42.8%). General Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) received 15.4 million votes to the 12.9 million for incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party. Gen. Buhari’s defeat of President Jonathan by a margin of more than 2.5 million votes, 54% to 45%, and winning in 21 of Nigeria’s 36 states, is a clear mandate for change. Some longtime Nigeria watchers are also calling it a referendum on the incumbent’s six years as the nation’s chief executive. Until this election, only PDP candidates have won the Presidency and the PDP has maintained a majority in all elected bodies since the end of military rule in 1999. With the March 28 vote, the APC is the majority party in the Senate and the House. Similarly, the APC won a large majority in the April 11 gubernatorial and state house elections. The rejection of the ruling PDP and President Jonathan was driven by the population’s extreme frustration and rage in response to years of failed policies that have made even simple daily existence a challenge.

Nigeria’s Underdevelopment Must Be Addressed

It is clear to any thoughtful observer that Nigeria has not progressed significantly in more than a decade and an half of “democratic” rule. In some of the major cities, road infrastructure has improved and there is a considerable amount of new housing in Abuja, but the fundamental, underlying conditions of life for the majority of Nigerians remain abysmal. Nigeria’s rich agricultural potential remains underdeveloped. The minimum monthly wage for civil servants is 20,000 Naira, equal to about $100. More than 100 million Nigerians live on $1 to $2 a day, and the lack of jobs and misemployment plague the country. Unemployment for youth runs as high as 90%; for college graduates it is 45%. The informal economy, as it is called, is a cancer destroying the productivity of the economy. Youth line the roads, selling every imaginable consumer commodity by running in traffic alongside moving cars, retrieving their money from drivers who dangle it from their car windows. Able-bodied young men, who should be working to build the country’s infrastructure, are instead selling chewing gum to passing cars. A complete waste of creative labor power! Human beings constitute the only known species capable of discovering new principles in the universe. It is this “creative spark” that makes human beings in the image of the Creator. To degrade Africans to a bestial existence is to deny the sacredness of human life.  

The egregious failure of this and previous administrations is reflected in the utter paucity of electrical power for Africa’s most populous nation of almost 180 million. Imagine, only 2,500 megawatts (MW) of electric power out of a maximum of 4,000 MW capacity is available from the national grid each day, leaving Nigerians to fend for themselves, the better-off having expensive personal generators and home batteries that are used to store the electricity when power is provided. At night one can hear the hum of residential generators that collectively generate several tens of thousands of additional megawatts above that supplied by the national grid. There is no Nigerian household or small business that does not experience a blackout at least once every day and usually several times a day, forcing citizens to operate in the dark and without air conditioning, despite the extreme heat. If Nigerians were to live at a U.S. standard of living, consuming 1.4 kilowatts per capita, Nigeria would require 250,000 megawatts, or 250 gigawatts– several orders of magnitude more than what is available today. 

Despite the deadly presence of Boko Haram—which has created an extraordinarily dangerous security situation for northeastern Nigeria, especially in Borno State—the state of the economy, the difficulty in just finding the means to survive and provide for one’s family, remained the number-one issue motivating Nigerians to oust the incumbent President. The single most important task for the next President, in reviving Nigeria’s undeveloped economy, is to provide plentiful, accessible electrical power. President Elect Buhari is not unaware of the causal relationship between poverty and security. Concern about security is not just about terrorist attacks. Robberies, murders, and kidnapping for ransom are also part of daily life in Nigeria.

Western Governments Oppose Development

The United States and Europe today have no commitment to the development of nations. It is not an overstatement to say that governments in the west are utterly opposed to building up the physical economic capacity of developing nations, much less their own, due to their slavish, obsequious bowing at the altar of Wall Street and the City of London with their quadrillions of dollars in worthless derivatives.

President Obama has made abundantly clear to all what the U.S. government’s policy towards Africa is with his expression, “we don’t do infrastructure.” The only U.S. institution that provides credit for infrastructure projects, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is so restrictive in its contracts and so limited ($1–2 billion a year for small-scale water, sanitation, and power projects), that it fails to actually help countries expand their agro-industrial sectors sufficiently to provide for their populations. We have to go back more than a half century, to the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, to find a period in which the United States engaged with African leaders, such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, to foster physical growth, not merely monetary values.

Africa needs hundreds of billions of dollars in the form of credits to build regional and transcontinental infrastructure, especially railroads, electric power, water management, and healthcare, to overcome the genocidal effects of decades of deficits in these crucial categories of investment that are absolutely essential to foster economic growth.

Today there is a new world dynamic no longer dominated by the pessimism and geo-political outlook of the West. Through the emerging leadership of the BRICS configuration and its New Development Bank, and China’s “One Belt and One Road” commitment to extending the Silk Road around the globe and into space, nations have an opportunity to work together for a common purpose—to raise the physical productivity of their economies and improve the living conditions of their citizens. China, Russia, and India are leading the world in the construction of nuclear energy plants, high-speed rail lines, and water projects

The process is already leading Africa to closer collaboration with the BRICS nations. In April, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission discussed with Russia’s Rosatom the possibility of building four 1200 MW nuclear power plants at a cost of $20 billion, with the first one scheduled to be operational in 2025. In another collaboration with BRICS nations, Nigeria signed a $12 billion agreement with a Chinese company to build a railroad around the southern rim of the country last November, in what was China’s biggest-ever overseas construction deal. A subsidiary of the china Railway Construction Company has signed a $3.5 billion contract to build a 334 kilometer long inter-city railway project in Ogun State. On April 14, the president of the African Development Bank, in which Nigeria has a significant role, welcomed the new, China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank-AIIB, saying he hoped the two institutions could work together to plug the funding gap for infrastructure in African countries.  The new AIIB credit bank, with 57 prospective founding member nations is expected to have its charter signed in June.

While Europe and the United States remain obsessed with attempting to protect purely meaningless, monetary values that are actually destructive to the real economy, Africa is turning to this new alliance for progress. All the Africans that I have known over many years are expecting Nigeria to play a leadership role in this new global movement for development. In fact, for its own survival, it has no choice.

Transaqua’s Time Has Come

Boko Haram is at war with the four nations that border Lake Chad, the founding members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC)—Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. The 40 million Africans living in the Lake Chad Basin are suffering from the shrinking of the lake, which is reported to have shrunk by approximately 90% from its 1963 size of 25,000 square kilometers. Increasing poverty among the fisherman and farmers facilitates recruitment to Boko Haram, which pays the poor, alienated youth from this region more money than they can otherwise hope to make off the land.

In northern Cameroon, underemployment of all ages is a least 75%, according IRIN humanitarian news. IRIN reports that Boko Haram takes advantage of the extreme poverty and lack of opportunities in the region. Those young men are “faced with the choice of joining Boko Haram and securing their financial future or sitting at home with nothing to do as their families struggle to afford enough food to eat.” One youth told IRIN that Boko Haram is willing to pay recruits $600 to $800 per month, where the monthly minimum wage for those who can find jobs is $72. President Elect, Buhari has already stated that he intends to use the full power of the government to defeat Boko Haram. With his military experience and longstanding relations with Nigeria’s armed forces, Nigerians expect to see results.

Over recent months, there has been a growing realization that an effective counter terrorism strategy requires more than just military deployments, and that alleviating the poverty in the region is also a crucial ingredient to countering violent extremism. This has led to an interest in Transaqua, the great water project, designed by Dr. Marcello Vichi of the Bonifica engineering firm over 30 years ago to replenish the shrinking lake. The proposal is to transport 5% of the water from the Congo River Basin north across the Central Africa Republic through a 2,400 kilometer canal to the Chari River that empties into Lake Chad. This idea is also being promoted by Nigerian engineer Sanusi Abdullahi, Executive Secretary of the LCBC (see {EIR} December 5, 2014).

In discussions with this author, President Elect Buhari, who has been following the condition of Lake Chad since the days when he was the Governor of Northeast Nigeria, showed concern for the lake and interest in such a water transfer project. Transaqua is a transformative infrastructure project that would create a development corridor from the Great Lakes Region to the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel, affecting the economies of a dozen African states. The donor countries and multilateral institutions that fund the LCBC have flatly rejected transferring water to refill Lake Chad. The U.S. government has also officially shown no interest in this potentially revolutionary project for Africa. If the Nigerian government were to take the leadership in spearheading the campaign for Transaqua, it would have a profound effect for all of Africa. However, since Transaqua is of such great importance in preventing the southward march of the desert and developing such a large portion of the continent, the African Union, representing all African nations, should make this water transfer project a primary goal.  

Nigeria at a Turning Point

Winning the election was a necessary step, but now the Nigerian people are rightfully expecting a major up-shift in the functioning of their government and an improvement in their lives. During the election campaign, Buhari highlighted his commitment to dealing with the security crisis in Nigeria. In a column in the {New York Times} on April 14, he declared that his first act will be to defeat Boko Haram militarily. He recognized that Boko Haram is alluring: “They offer impressionable young people money and the promise of food, while the group’s mentors twist their minds with fanaticism.” He also promised to end corruption, create jobs, and build needed infrastructure. The new government will be given a short honeymoon with expectations understandably sky high.

General Buhari is well known for his integrity and incorruptibility from his time as the military leader of Nigeria, from January 1984 until August 1985. Oil is at the heart of corruption in Nigeria. Having failed to build functioning oil refineries, Nigeria—one of the top ten oil producing countries in the world—has to import fuel. It is the daily buying and selling of fuel on the international markets that creates the conditions for corruption and outright theft of Nigeria’s natural wealth through collusion between the major international oil companies and their Nigerian criminal allies. Since Royal Dutch Shell moved into Nigeria over a half century ago, the nation has never fully freed itself from its control and manipulation. The new government will have to find a way to break the back of this nefarious cabal.      

To deal with Nigeria’s dysfunctional economy, Buhari and his team will need to initiate a set of radically new policies to unite a country that is divided along ethnic, religious, and geographic lines, around an economic nation-building program much like that of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s “First 100 Days.” When Roosevelt took office in 1933, the country was gripped with fear and despair, with 25% of the labor force unemployed, and a bankrupt financial system. On his first day in office, having prepared in advance, he launched a set of policies to get the country functioning and lift the American people out of the suffering of the 1930s great economic depression, by creating a new economic platform.

For Nigeria to realize the full potential of its enormous human capital and vast natural resources, it should apply the Rooseveltian-Hamiltonian principle. By that I mean President Roosevelt’s top down approach to rapidly employing millions of unemployed men to build dams, roads, and waterways—new infrastructure that electrified entire sections of the United States—exemplified by the federal government’s creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, then the grandest infrastructure project in the world. Roosevelt was himself a student of Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington, who united the colonies into one nation through the establishment of a national credit bank. Roosevelt, upon assuming office, lawfully issued new government credit to restart the moribund U.S. economy in accordance with the sovereign responsibility of a government to provide for the “general welfare” of its citizens. Roosevelt was too smart and too much of a patriot to allow the future of the United States to depend on the “money-changers” as he called them. 

Buhari has a history of resisting the interference of the global financial institutions. When he came to power in 1984, he rejected a new $2 billion loan from the World Bank, designed to drive Nigeria further into debt. He refused to accept the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program, whose demands included curtailing spending, freezing wages, removing fuel subsidies, reducing tariffs, raising interest rates by 30%, and a minimum 60% devaluation of the Naira, which would have massively increased the price of Nigeria’s imports and significantly reduced revenues from the export of its oil. Buhari’s refusal to accept the IMF-ordered destruction of Nigeria earned him the enmity of especially the Anglo-American political-financial establishment. There is little doubt that General Buhari’s principled stand in defense of his nation against the financial oligarchy was a motivating factor in his removal from office. Following the coup against him in 1985, the floodgates were opened for the destructive IMF Structural Adjustment Program, from which Nigeria has never recovered (see documentation).

Now, 30 years after his first period as the nation’s leader, General Buhari returns as President of Nigeria with the future of the nation resting heavily on his shoulders.

DOCUMENTATION

Excerpted here are remarks by Major General Muhammadu Buhari at the Fourth Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture in Kaduna, Nigeria, on May 15, 1998, under the subhead “Economy,” paragraphs 5–11.

“…The came the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) after the collapse of the resistance to the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And instead of a graduated 60% devaluation of the Naira, the national currency experienced its greatest humiliation. Henceforth, disaster descended on the Nigerian people. (1)

“The new value of the naira—unrealistic, indefensible and the result of utter lack of patriotism is perhaps the most enduring act of official recklessness and lack of regard for the economic well being of Nigerians.

“With one announcement the government pauperized the majority of the people of this country. In a way the devaluation of the Naira occasioned by SAP has contributed more than any single measure in destroying the moral fibre of Nigerians. Beside its direct effect on people’s savings and purchasing power, the devaluation of the Naira has had more far-reaching effects on the economy.

“From 1986 to 1992 inflation grew nine-fold. Even though the GDP grew by 5.4% per annum during the same period, its rate of growth declined to just a little over the pre-86 level of 2%. But for the people there was deterioration in their standards of living as real wages continued to decline.

“…If our future leadership wishes to be and remain relevant, people must be the focus and beneficiaries of all government activities. {Henceforth, therefore the question of growth and economic development must be linked to the changes in the objective conditions of the people of the country and not by an impressive array of mere figures or other economic indicators.} [emphasis in the original]

“As one development economist said, the questions to ask about a country’s development are three: what has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all these three have declined from higher to lower levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned.

“But poverty in Nigeria has for the past decades been increasing and is now pervasive; unemployment has reached record levels as thousands of our university graduates roam the towns without work to do, and inequality resulting from several distortions has been deepening. The middle classes have all but been wiped out.”

  • It is worth noting that when Gen Buhari was head of the military government, the Naira was worth more than the dollar, reaching a high of 1 Naira equal to $1.34, before he was toppled and the IMF took control of Nigeria’s economy. In the period leading up to this year’s election, $1 was trading for N225. 

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Will Nigeria Become A Tsunami for Africa?

Lawrence K. Freeman

January 28, 2012

An African friend recently told me that if the “Arab Spring” comes to Nigeria; it will create a tsunami for the rest of Africa. I believe he is right, and it may be coming sooner than we think, unless Nigeria makes an abrupt change in policy.

In the Arab countries where demonstrations erupted last year, there were legitimate reasons for popular dissatisfaction with their governments, and the same is true in Nigeria.  However the break-up of Nigeria has long
been desired by the British financial empire, to carry out its policy of genocide throughout the African continent,
which continues unabated today through food shortages that are killing millions, and will kill millions more in the months ahead

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Professor Sam Aluko: There Will Be No Development in Africa Without a Strong Government Role

Interview, September 12, 2008

     I told Obasanjo, that at the end of his period, if he continues that wrong policy, the economy will be worse than when he took over. Of course, he didn’t agree with me. He said that my economics was backward, was old fashioned; that the modern economy was one of globalization, one of free trade, one of privatization and deregulation, of retrenchment of public sector workers.  At the end of his Presidency, the economy was worse than in 1999 when he became the President.

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Professor Sam Aluko: Peace Through Development: The Nigerian Perspective

Germany, May 3, 2001

One of the most evident characteristics of the African continent is that it has always been a “follower continent”; that it continues to remain a “follower continent”; and, unless it finds faith and independence in its own peoples, action, and governments, Africa’s continuing economic decline, its financial and moral crises, will not only increase and deepen, but will also ultimately constitute a threat to the peace and stability of the entire world. This is because the enormous economic and natural resources of the African continent will continue to invite the competitive exploitation and spoliation of today’s world’s most developed nations, as their diminishing resources recede further and further while their insatiable appetites grow more gargantuan by the day, and the financial and economic crises which are beginning to manifest in their countries deepen and defy solution. 

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Will Nigeria return to the IMF fold?

Lawrence K. Freeman

February 12, 1999

With only a few weeks until the Feb. 27 Presidential elections, Nigeria is being pressured to submit to the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club. When Gen. Sani Abacha came to power in November 1993, he reversed the subservient relationship that Nigeria had to the IMF under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s regime (1985-93), during which Babangida destroyed Nigeria by following the IMF’s structural adjustment program and “free market reforms,” including the massive devaluation of the naira, Nigeria’s currency. During the last several years, the IMF has been denied direct control over Nigeria’s economy, especially because of Nigeria’s 1994 government ban on accepting any additional foreign loans

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Helga LaRouche face off against the British in Abuja, Nigeria

Lawrence K. Freeman

December 12, 1997

The dirigistic “Chinese model” for development of the physical economy, in the tradition of the American System of Political Economy, presented by Mrs. LaRouche, stands in stark contrast to Prof. Paul Collier’s advocacy of the “free-trade” system applied by the British Commonwealth against its “former” colonies in Asia and Africa.  Collier’s pedigree places him in the service of the nastiest imperialist faction of the British Empire

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Professor Sam Aluko: IMF conditionalities are destroying Nigeria’s economy

October 27, 1997

Interview in Abuja, Nigeria

     What we have been proposing to government is that we should clearly identify those areas of the economy that are growth-propelling, and we should invest in them. In 1995, we suggested to government that instead of just spreading out all our revenue over a multitude of projects—none of  which will be completed—let us identify in a year, four or five or six projects. Say, this year, we are going to finish the iron and steel mill, which, of course, the World Bank and IMF and the Western world don’t want us to complete. We say, “No.” If we don’t complete those, we never take off. 

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Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu: What Nigeria is doing to end military rule

Chief Ojukwu, former member of the Nigerian Constitutional Conference

Paris, France-July 11, 1995

Nigeria is a very important country. I don’t say that just because I happen to be Nigerian. Aspects of our importance have been mentioned. But I would further stress that the failure of Africa is actually the failure of Nigeria. The leadership which Nigeria should have given to Africa, it has not been able to give because of certain difficulties. And those difficulties can be summarized-as His Excellency the Ambassador has mentioned-as those of nation-building. Nobody in Nigeria today ever applied to become Nigerian. Nigeria was the concept of Lord Lugard-the name itself was given by his girlfriend, who couldn’t think of anything else ….

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Adamo Ciroma, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture: “We deserve respect for what we have done”

Interview
Abuja, Nigeria-July 1, 1994

EIR: We see globally signs of the weakening of the current financial system; that the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and free trade are beginning to fail. What effects do you see of the collapse M the present monetary system for Nigeria?

Ciroma: We are going through two phases. The first phase was acceptance by the Nigerian government to apply IMF policies; that was between 1985 and 1993. In the 1994 budget, we have had to introduce some controls in order to deal with the problems introduced by the IMF policies of deregulation. It is clear that while the market forces arguments and deregulation are being held up as ones that allow resources to flow into the right areas, and which are corruption-free, the proof, in fact, is somewhat different. The market deregulated system has a great deal more corruption than was the case during the previous era of regulation. 

     Secondly, the free-trade policies, as part of the IMF policy, allowed resources in a depressed economy to be applied to the importation of items which one would not expect to see on the shelves, like dog food, cat food, and similar items. These are sharp contrasts, and nobody can actually defend it.

    Now the new policy, which introduced the fixing of exchange rates, the fixing of interest rates, has drawn a lot of flak from the banking sector. In their words, the policy must fail. And from the information available to us, they gave the policy six months, by which time it would fail. And this has the backing of the IMF and the World Bank, whose officials publicly and gleefully predicted the failure of the Nigerian policy.

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Dr. Sam Aluko: “We emphasize the function of production in our economy” 

Interview with Dr. Aluko, member of Nigeria’s newly formed National Economic Intelligence Committee.

Abuja, Nigeria July 1994

EIR: Your committee was set up in February to examine the 1994 budget and to look at the Nigerian economy and report to the commander in chief. Could you tell us exactly what your findings were on the Nigerian economy?
Aluko: We were set up to monitor the 1994 budget, to monitor the economic activities, and advise the head of state every quarter. But we felt that it was not just enough to look at the budget without looking at the economy itself. So, since we were set up, we have produced two reports to the head of state, one in March, the other one just this month [June]. But what we have done, really, has been to interact with various sectors in the economy. As of today we’ve interviewed about 26 to 28 various organizations: trade unions, manufacturers who sell to Nigeria, bankers, finance houses, manufacturers, motor assembly plants, cement factories, farmers, even colleagues from at home and abroad. This was in order to have an overview of how the economy is functioning. We tell every one of them that we would like to have a dialogue with you on a confidential basis–hide nothing from us; we will hide nothing from you.

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Al-Haji Bamanga Tukur: “Our priority is to improve our agriculture and industry’ 

Interview with Mr. Tukur, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry

Abuja, Nigeria-July 1994

EIR: Before we get into specifically Nigerian industry, how did the International Monetary Fund’s structural adjustment programs affect Nigeria over the recent period?
Tukur: They affected Nigeria positively in many ways, and also negatively in others. Positively, in the sense that when smaller exports and smaller-scale industries started, there was a kind of determination to have self-sufficiency. But because of the many structural defects, that which ought to have helped the real structural adjustment to take place, was not in place. So the whole thing really flattened. And then naturally, with the fall of prices in the oil economy, the hardship really surfaced more than anything else.

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