NLC tackles IMF chief, Lagarde, over subsidy removal, devaluation of naira

11 January 2016, Abuja – Following the visit of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, to Nigeria last week, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has taken a swipe at the IMF boss for her recommendations to the Nigerian government to remove fuel subsidy and devalue the naira.

Ayuba-Wabba, NLC president

Comrade Ayuba Wabba

In an interview with THISDAY, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba lamented that most engagements by IMF Chief are shrouded in secrecy to the detriment of Nigerians currently facing the brunt of economic hardship.

While urging the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Abuja last week to tinker with fuel subsidy, Lagarde had argued that fuel subsidies are hard to defend, stating that they “harm the planet” as “only seven percent of the benefits go to the poorest 20 per cent.”

Statistics, Wabba said, do not conform to present realities in Nigeria.

“I am not sure those statistics are correct. Everyone in Nigeria is depended on oil and gas. Therefore, people will not be able to pay more. Our viewpoint is that the primary purpose of government is comfort. So, who will benefit from subsidy removal?

“We can do a lot of other things so that citizens don’t suffer. The truth is IMF is about servicing the capitalists.  So the recommendation of the IMF Chief for subsidy removal is so that we can continue to buy refine petroleum products from them (the west),” Wabba said.

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