Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Strongly Condemns World Bank’s Call for Increased Petrol Price to N750 in the guise of withdrawal of a non-existent subsidy which the President told the whole country during his May 29, 2023 inaugural speech that “subsidy is gone”

We vehemently reject the recent advice by the World Bank urging the Nigerian government to increase petrol prices to N750 per litre. The World Bank’s lead economist for Nigeria, Alex Sienaert, corroborated this unwarranted recommendation during a presentation in Abuja, reinforcing the need for the government to abandon its commitment to the people and embrace policies that only serve the interests of foreign entities.

It is an advise laden with mischief and intended to destabilize not only the nation’s economy but also Nigeria’s long term development plans. It further demonstrates to doubting Thomases that the Bretton Wood institutions who are the arrowheads of the neoliberal school is not pro-poor but is steeped in predatory policies that beggar the poor so that the rich will become richer.

It is truly a shame that the World Bank has really shown itself to be an enemy of the Nigerian nation. Its continued grandstanding and generation on anti-poor policies and programmes have destabilized many countries of the South especially nations within the sub-Saharan region. The difficulties and suffering created by the last hike in the price of PMS which was a product of the advice of the World Bank and its sister institution; the IMF are still ravaging the nation destroying in its wake the nation’s industrial base and domestic manufacturing capacity which favours Western metropoles.

We remind the government that Nigeria should not allow foreign entities like the World Bank and the IMF to dictate economic policies that are detrimental to the welfare of its citizens. It is imperative that our leaders look inwards, tapping into the vast resources and human potential within our nation to address challenges and formulate policies that genuinely uplift the standard of living for all Nigerians.

The NLC stands firm in its conviction that foreign interventions, particularly those dictated by the World Bank and IMF, have a history of exacerbating economic disparities in third-world countries. We assert that it is not only impractical but truly immoral for the World bank to persistently advocate for policies that endanger the lives and livelihoods of citizens, imperiling our nation. It is crucial for the Nigerian government to prioritize the welfare of its people over external pressures. We call on the government to resist the temptation to implement policies that cater to the interests of international bodies, even at the expense of the well-being of its citizens.

The World Bank is Globalist North in thoughts and actions and has little or no consideration for the Global South. It is a predatory institution which the Global North uses to justify its crimes against the South. It is almost single-handedly responsible for the ruination of the economies of countries of the global South for which it prescribes one fit solution for all their ailments. The history of the failure of World bank’s prescription all over the world is well-known. It therefore baffles us that such institution with such history of failure in the past; a track record of failed recommendations; would still have the courage to make prescriptions to a country that is one of its past victims.

We may describe the World Bank as waging a War against Nigeria and its people as it may be pursuing policies that may destroy our nation and our people. We must view the World Bank as the real enemy of Nigeria and its policies and prescriptions must be treated as such.

The World Bank is so hypocritical it fails to see the nexus between price and capacity. The minimum wage in Nigeria for a privileged few is N30,000. Same minimum wage in US where the law is enforced is N1.5 million. If you advocate for international prices then, it becomes commonsensical that you must advocate for international wages. Our local reality is that we cannot think of increasing the Pump price of PMS any further as it is a product whose price is pivotal in determining the price of other items in the country. We cannot toy with a prescription that is akin to a suicide Pill. We urge the federal Government not to be tempted in anyway to swallow that Pill. It will wreck the nation further!

In light of this, if government knows what is good for it, it should ignore the World Bank but must remain committed to fighting inherent corruption in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. It must also cut down the high cost of governance. World Bank continues to be against the coming back on stream of our domestic refineries as its prescription is based on its imaginary import template instead of advising the Government to ensure that the domestic refineries come back on stream. We advise the World Bank that if it loves Nigeria too much, it should support the Government in ensuring that the refineries in Nigeria come back on stream instead of its continued advise for continuous importation of petroleum products.

Once again, we urge the federal Government to distance itself from such prescription as it is an ill-motivated advice that will further devastate our nation and increase the suffering and angst in the nation. The World Bank should allow Nigeria to govern itself and stop its meddlesomeness in our internal affairs which we consider very rude and insensitive. World Bank is truly part of the problem of Nigeria

Comrade Joe Ajaero