Deregulation: For whose benefit?

Deregulation: For whose benefit?
May 16 17:18 2016

By Aliyu U. Tilde

It is unfortunate that attempts are made to silence the voice of reason by the President’s supporters. The good thing is that strike or no strike, we will collectively pay for the price, supporters and opponents of the fuel price hike alike. In acca za ta sha rana, matankadin ma zai sha.

IMF, World Bank and the West generally will never be on our side. They depend on our resources to survive. Our economic relationship with the West has been in inverse form for the past 400 years. There is nothing to convince me that it has suddenly changed, no matter how many times Cameron receives Buhari.

The Naira will soon be devalued, as hinted by Sahara Reporters, to N280 per dollar and VAT increased from 5% to 15%, in a country where nothing works and corruption in public service is the norm. IMF has demanded it as a condition to giving its $3 billion loan. That is the same N280 figure that was used to arrive at N145/liter of petrol as contained in Osinbajo’s defence of the subsidy removal debate.

Hard working citizens will be robbed of their earnings and officials will continue with their usual theft and opulence. Our good Buhari cannot stop them. He must have realized that now. If he could, he would not have gone to the IMF. Past governors alone can yield more than he needs. But they are working free. The trial of Saraki alone is taking ages and tells a lot about the weaknesses of our judicial system. That is the system we have in place today. It supports corruption and the President can do little about it, no matter the rhetoric. The Senate will not change the rules to the detriment of most of its members.

More tax and inflation inducing measures like devaluation and hike in fuel price without any subsidy even in agriculture in a corrupt country like Nigeria can only result in one thing: more poverty, more poverty and more poverty, beyond the present 70%. The present minimum wage of $90 per month will in the end be reduced to the value of $45 or less. But surely, there will be a lot of money raked from common citizens to finance the lavish lifestyle of the political class – from the President down to the councillor. As for the common man who is not enjoying even the minimum wage and not even a bag of fertilizer for his farm, his life will be continue to be unbearable.

Poverty in turn cancels other things – education is one of them – and breeds other ills – like crime and the insurgency that we are just coming out of. And write it: This will not be the last hike in fuel price. The Naira will continue to fall and the need for an upward review of fuel price will soon and always be there, ad infinitum. It has happened many times in the past 42 years. The old gramophone plate of benefiting masses will be played again.

So in the end, one wonders who actually benefits from these measures. We are just banking on promises and promises – that the President will deliver. With the corrupt officials and politicians, one must learn not to squander his hopes.

Meanwhile, take your bearings from the mood of the marketers, whose two renown members, the Minister and his godfather, TYD, directs policy matters on petroleum. The marketers are happy like never before. But I f you see hyaenas rejoicing, be rest assured that the sheep is in trouble.

That is the British model of subjugation. It works by corruption and defending it through corrupt officials and institutions. The crude French does it directly from day one through the terms on which they gave independence to their colonies. All the national earnings of our Francophone brothers – except Guinea Conakry – are in the central bank in France and they cannot spend a penny or enter into any contract with any other nation without its approval. It prints and determines their currency. It approves their budget, every year.

The issue here is not Buhari the person at all. It is the same old West versus us. I have never been comfortable with his romance with these suckers. Neither am I comfortable with their praises of him. In ka ga kura na yabon dan maraki, cinye shi za ta yi.

May God have mercy on the darling of my heart, the Buhari of 1984-85. He is gone. He was full of energy and stood against them. He refused to devalue the Naira and was ingenious enough to get round the problem. The West and its stooges brought him down as they brought down Murtala when they could not bend him. I thought that Buhari was still around. Now I understand that he is no more. They kept his body but replaced his spirit with another one.

When they realized that they cannot prevent the trust that the common man has for the new Buhari, they courted him again and again. They have now come forward to use his position to achieve what they could not even achieve during Abacha, Obasanjo, Umaru and Jonathan.

May God forgive the present Buhari that has found himself amidst APC wolves and the corrupt governors that are eager to get the money to squander, seeing that present oil proceeds cannot satiate their greed. He does not have the free hand of the military leader of his old self. These wolves, as reported, surrounded him and pressed him into conceding to increase in fuel price, devaluation of the Naira and other measures stifling to the life of the common man. He ran and ran against such a day, but he could not run forever. No excuses now, though. As President, he knows, he must shoulder the responsibility. May God forgive him.

May the souls of past defenders of the common man like Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, Malam Aminu Kano and General Murtala Muhammed continue to live in peace. The common man will continue to suffer in your absence. Crass capitalism, IMF and the World Bank are having a field day in your beloved country. We miss you today.

Dr. Tilde wrote from Bauchi state