How Buhari’s Ministers Dubiously Colluded with IMF and Destroyed the Naira – Femi Falana
While speaking in an exclusive interview with ThisDAY, Lagos-based human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers, collided with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to ‘dollarise’ the Naira, adding that the “dubious experiment” ruined the nation’s currency.
He said: “There is no doubt that the Buhari administration inherited a country that had been run aground by a dangerously corrupt and visionless ruling class. But because the ruling APC believes in the ideology of underdevelopment canvassed by imperialism, it has embraced the rein of market forces. Personally, President Muhammadu Buhari is vehemently opposed to the devaluation of the national currency, but his cabinet members who are largely neo-liberal ideologues, colluded with the IMF to dollarise the economy.
“At the end of the dubious experiment of the regime, the national currency has been ruined. Whereas, section 16 of the Constitution states that the government shall control the national economy in a manner that the commonwealth shall not be concentrated in the hands of a few people, the regime decided to hand over the economy to market forces and the private sector.
“Even though we are told by the apostles of market fundamentalism that the government has no business in business the government, government was made to sell our common patrimony to selected private sector players, provide them with intervention funds, huge loans from commercial banks, duty waivers and tax incentives. The same government has had to set up the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to buy off the toxic loans of the rich. Today, AMCON is battling to recover N5.4 trillion in loans incurred by about 50 private sector players. Is that how to run a private sector driven economy?”
The foremost human rights lawyer, Falana then urged the current administration to make the welfare and security of Nigerians the primary purpose of government.
“The solution to the gross mismanagement of the economy and the crisis of poverty and insecurity is well captured in chapter 2 of the Constitution. The Constitution decrees that the welfare and security of the people, shall be the primary purpose of the government.
“To that effect the Constitution states that the economy shall be centrally planned and controlled by the State, to promote the welfare and happiness of the people, guarantee free education and health, provide shelter for the people, ensure that a living minimum wage, pension and unemployment benefits are paid.
“Whereas the fundamental objectives and directive principles enshrined in the Constitution are realisable under a socialist economic system the Buhari regime has decided to consolidate the neocolonial and peripheral capitalist system, which has destroyed the economy and compounded the crisis of underdevelopment.
“Unless the government reverses the trend, invests in the people, empowers them and mobilises them to manage the affairs of the country, we can never fix any of the major problems plaguing the nation,” he said.