Finance minister Kemi Adeosun said a couple of days ago that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not worried about Nigeria’s debt profile. Nigerians should be worried that the finance minister thinks that the IMF being relaxed about Nigeria’s estimated debt of $60bn is something to crow about.
Many Nigerians have speculated about the minister’s economic literacy, including a source that told Naijiant.com that she was promoted beyond her capabilities.
Her IMF comments do nothing to allay those concerns. The reality is that the IMF should be happy that Nigeria is sinking further into debt. Debt is a form of bondage and an instrument that so-called multilateral institutions like the IMF and World Bank use to control the economic agenda of countries such as Nigeria. John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, described the IMF’s operations in an interview with Truthout like this: “Essentially, my job was to identify countries that had resources that our corporations want, and that could be things like oil – or it could be markets – it could be transportation systems. There’re so many different things. Once we identified these countries, we arranged huge loans to them, but the money would never actually go to the countries; instead it would go to our own corporations to build infrastructure projects in those countries, things like power plants and highways that benefited a few wealthy people as well as our own corporations, but not the majority of people who couldn’t afford to buy into these things, and yet they were left holding a huge debt, very much like what Greece has today, a phenomenal debt.
And once [they were] bound by that debt, we would go back, usually in the form of the IMF – and in the case of Greece today, it’s the IMF and the EU [European Union] – and make tremendous demands on the country: increase taxes, cut back on spending, sell public sector utilities to private companies, things like power companies and water systems, transportation systems, privatize those, and basically become a slave to us, to the corporations, to the IMF, in your case to the EU, and basically, organizations like the World Bank, the IMF, the EU, are tools of the big corporations, what I call the “corporatocracy.”
In essence, resource-rich countries like Nigeria are targeted with loans so that they can get further into debt. The debt bondage then allows the IMF dictate how the economy is managed in service of foreign capital. Greg Palast wrote in “The best democracy that money can buy”: “No developing nation can borrow hard currency from any commercial bank without IMF blessing”. This borrowing is encouraged to allow the IMF to control the economies of those countries. It means setting the economic direction of those countries in a way that guarantees that they don’t rise beyond being slaves to foreign capital as sources of cheap raw materials.
Look no further than organisations like the IMF for one of the major reasons why countries like Nigeria remain underdeveloped. Che Guevara wrote that: “The interests of the IMF represent the big international interests that today seem to be established and concentrated in Wall Street”. American author Gerald Celente described the IMF as the “International Mafia Federation”. It appears that Kemi Adeosun seems to be among those that are not aware that increasing your borrowing from associates of the Mafia spells trouble for you. That should be worrying for Nigerians.