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I.M.F and the Stimulus of Destabilization.

By       Message Michael Dibiaezue       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Looking at unfolding events in my country Nigeria, today, I
ask how it is possible for a President in full view of our collapsing security
situation to go ahead and impose policies that do nothing but aggravate
an already frightening situation. Surely, something has gone terribly
wrong with decision making in our country. There has to be overpowering
reasons for this and they are what I intend to explore through this

In 2005, the US National Intelligence Council (NIC) announced to the
world that Nigeria will break up by the year 2015 if it continued on its
then socio-economic path. In May 2008, the official homepage of the
United States military
(click here)
described a war-game scenario playing out in which "The Nigerian
government is near collapse and rival factions are vying for power in
that troubled part of the world"" It added "The exercise centers around
realistic threats to ongoing peace around the world, like the
potentially negative effects of globalization, competition for energy,
demographic trends, climate change and natural disasters, proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction and the existence of failed or failing
states that could be havens for terrorists." In other words, the
prospects of Nigeria collapsing with rival factions vying for power are
very realistic threats to our nation according to the US government.

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In February 2008, Vice Admiral Moeller, in a presentation at an Africom
conference held at Fort McNair, declared that protecting "the free flow
of natural resources from Africa to the global market" i.e. the West,
was one of Africom's "guiding principles" and specifically cited "oil
disruption," "terrorism," and the "growing influence" of China as major
"challenges" to U.S. interests in Africa. Dwelling on Moeller's
statement, clearly reveals Africom's intended purpose and its
relationship to war exercises such as Unified Quest 08. Not just that,
it showcases America's intolerance to growing spheres of influence and
competition. To lump influence and competition alongside terrorism and
oil disruption is to underline the fact that America considers them an
act of war which is exactly why Africom views them as challenges.

This attitude and the several programs being foisted on African nations
in furtherance of these American policies have led to a very negative
drain on the African economy. According to Daniel Volman of the African
Security Research Project, under the Direct Commercial Sales Program
(DCS), the US State Department granted licenses for the sale of police
equipment (including pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles, and crowd
control chemicals) by private U.S. companies to African governments. In
the financial year of 2008, American firms were expected to deliver more
than $175 million worth of this kind of hardware to Algeria through the
DCS program, along with $2 million worth for Botswana, $3 million for
Kenya, $19 million for Morocco, $17 million for Nigeria, and $61million
for South Africa.

The question that needs to be asked is why it becomes US policy for
private US companies to sell $17 million worth of crowd control
chemicals and guns to Nigeria or an excess of $300 million of these
equipments to select African countries whose citizens live on less than
$2-$3 a day, instead of desperately needed medication and
infrastructure? Leaders of these African countries will no doubt be
tempted to apply these equipments to the suppression of their people and
when they refuse to abide by Western dictates for whatever reasons,
will be hauled before the ICC at The Hague for killing their citizens.

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One will find all across Africa today, several programs put in place for
the direct enrichment of the US Military/Industrial Complex. (1) The
Flintlock 2005 and 2007 are Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET)
exercises to provide training experience for American and African
troops. The Flintlock 2007 exercises involved forces from Algeria, Chad,
Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Burkina
Faso, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. (2) The Joint Task
Force Aztec Silence (JTFAS) is charged with conducting surveillance
operations using the assets of the U.S. 6th Fleet (such as the spy
plane P-3 Orion) to share information, along with intelligence collected
by U.S. intelligence agencies. In February 2008, the U.S. 6th Fleet
conducted seven days of joint maritime exercises (known as Exercise
Maritime Safari 2008) at Nigeria's Ikeja Air Force Base with the
Nigerian Navy and Air Force.

There are also (3) the Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Partnership
(TSCTP) which links the United States with eight African countries:
Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, and
Algeria. (4) The East Africa Counter-Terrorism Initiative is a training
program similar to the TSCTP, and is a multi-year program. (5) The
Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance Program (ACOTA)
has Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi,
Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South
Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia participating. (6) The
International Military Education and Training Program (IMET) militarizes
African youths by training them in the art of war. (7) The Foreign
Military Sales Program ensures the sale of US military equipment through
the direct supervision of the US government which provides loans to
finance these purchases by African governments. (8) The African Coastal
and Border Security Program (ACBS) provides specialized equipment such
as patrol vessels and vehicles, communications equipments, night vision
devices and electronic monitors and sensors to African countries.

Setting aside the colossal sums of money paid by our governments in
hosting and participating in these programs, Nigeria and most African
countries risk laying bare all their defence and security secrets to
elements that may or may not align themselves with America's goals.
Modern aerial surveillance planes, like the P-3 Orion, are capable of
acquiring and storing huge amounts of data, including photographs of
vast swathes of land mass. Rogue elements within the US military may be persuaded, as
they have been on numerous other occasions, to sell our defence and
security secrets to unknown parties. It is also important to note that
whereas these exercises expose virtually the whole of Africa's land mass
to prying eyes, the same cannot be said for those Western nations that
share in the exercises.

These exercises and programs can best be described as a platform for
advertising and marketing American military hardware and crowd control
equipments, a market place if you like, which in turn result in the
wasteful drain on the Nigerian and African economies. To be sure, there
is no point to training people and conducting exercises if the
equipments they are trained to use are unavailable to them. Another thought is these exercises provide the pretext for mapping out
terrain and for participating foreign nations to test their new ships
and weapons with a view to assessing their adaptability and performance
on the African continent. The only ingredients missing for persuading
African leaders to buy military hardware and crowd control
chemicals are the destabilizing stimuli of war, social unrest and
conflict. These stimuli can occur as a result of foreign interference or
the imposition of unbearable living conditions.

The Niger Delta resistance and the Boko Haram insurgency are clear
examples of these destabilizing stimuli at work. No matter the reasons
for their occurrence, fact is that government by virtue of these
uprisings will be seriously inclined and persuaded to invest in
materials and equipments that help quell them. Needless to say, these
kinds of purchases are a drain on any economy seeing that they do not
add positive growth to a people's economic quest.

On December 2011, another kind of destabilizing stimulus was put to
play in Nigeria. The Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde arrived
Nigeria to meet with President Jonathan. Her primary mission was to
order him to get rid of fuel subsidy. The issue here was not the
unbearable conditions this directive imposed on Nigerians but the
freeing up of funds to more quickly enable us service our debt to her
organization. The dictates of IMF's conditionality ordered funds
accruing from the removal of subsidy and elsewhere to be placed with a
Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and invested in Western markets, the implication
being that such funds were unworthy of investment in the Nigerian

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Bearing this in mind and noting well that such SWF belonging to the
Libyan people was confiscated not too long ago by Western powers, it
becomes unrealistic to expect that our SWF, a condition put in place by
the IMF, would be applied to lifting the socio-economic yoke of the
Nigerian people whereas our debts remained unpaid and I.M.F
cash-strapped. My educated guess is that the promises of the Subsidy
Reinvestment and Empowerment programme (SURE) will never materialize for
want of funds elsewhere applied.

Finally, we come to the issue of subsidy itself. It is a misnomer for
government to brand what is by all practical definitions a petroleum tax
as subsidy. Essentially, the pump price of fuel at our filling
stations, when refined locally, is determined by the sum of a series of
costs. They are exploration, development, operation, refining,
distribution and marketing costs. Figures available for 2005 and at that year's exchange rate of 130 Naira (N) to the dollar, show that
exploration costs came to $.025 per barrel or N.02 per litre,
development cost $4 per barrel or N3.27 per litre, operation costs $7.05
per barrel or N5.74 per litre, refining costs $21 per barrel or N17.17
per litre, distribution costs were N2.45 per litre, marketing costs
N5.87 per litre bringing total costs for the pump price of a litre of
fuel in Nigeria to 24 cents or N31.50 per litre. With pump prices at N65, it means
government makes a profit of N33.50 on every litre of fuel sold at the
pumps i.e. a profit in excess of 100%.

As long as crude remains extractable from our soil not much will happen
to change these 2005 projections, aside from distribution costs. Government's inability to fix existing
refineries (which enabled production and delivery costs of a litre of
fuel to reach our pumps at 24 cents or N31.50) has now allowed for the kind of fraud
we see today in the fuel importation business and has culminated in the
emergence of a cabal that hold both government and citizens hostage.
This situation is what has made removal of "subsidy' mentionable and has
led to the intolerable position Nigerians find themselves today. So,
even here, we also see that government's decision to obey Lagarde and
remove subsidy amounts to the application of a destabilizing stimulus.

That fuel subsidy could be so arrogantly removed on New Year day without
feeling or recourse to Nigerians or their representatives at the
National Assembly, speaks of the fear our leaders harbor for
International bankers and the degree of control these bankers exert on
our lives through their influencing of government's policies. It is in
fact, a showing of how sovereign nations are targeted and ripped opened
by the lecherous fingers of international financial institutions .

Having said this much, we need to now look at the bigger picture. What we have is the Ambassador to US (a foreign power to which our government has thrown open our
borders and country; one that has not come bearing gifts but to
educate us on how to kill ourselves [Africans] and present us with the
means to get it done at economy-wrecking prices) campaigning and pledging support for the removal of subsidy. Standing shoulder to
shoulder with the US, is the I.M.F that has
ordered our government to impose conditions which will result in untold
hardship to the masses of my country. In other words, our government
is being ordered to abdicate its primary responsibility to the people
and trash its very reason for being.

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A Nigerian petrochemical Engineer devoted to the Humanities and the politics of the downtrodden. Have over the years published several articles about the petrochemical industry and I am currently awaiting the publication of my first book; The Hybrid (more...)

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