The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu has blamed the current security challenges facing Nigeria on the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), an IMF policy under the military leadership of then Head of State, Ibrahim Babandiga
Nigeria has lately been hit with insecurity of a high magnitude, a situation that has now worsened with the endless abduction of school children in the Northern part of the country.
He also did not spare power distribution companies, lamenting that rather than improve on electricity, they were busy siphoning billions of funds.
While absolving his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), of blames, Okechukwu cautioned that “instead of the blame game, we should come to the reality that the insecurity challenge we face today is the outcome of Extreme-Poverty planted in 1986 by the IMF Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). He said that SAP sowed the inhuman seed which gave birth to insecurity and calls for introspection and deep reflection on how we became the World Poverty Capital and how best to exit fast.
“Yes, we of the APC pledged to fix security in our dear country in every particular matter. That’s our pledge, and to be honest we are deploying billions of Naira and every material and human resources to contain it.
“However, we are confronted with Extreme-Poverty planted in 1986 by the IMF Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). The day SAP was born was the day the gross economic inequality and insecurity in Nigeria was born. It has badly mutated since 1986.”
“Economic inequality breeds extreme-poverty, hate, division and hostile insecurity, in countries wherever it is allowed to thrive throughout history. To be exact no matter how much trillions of Naira we spend on military hardware, or how many times we change Security Chiefs, with Extreme-Poverty security will remain a mirage.
“Whereas I am neither canvassing for marxism nor socialism, we must accept that ours is a primitive economy which requires a primary solution.”
He noted that “the primary solution is to return to Mixed Economy model; clearly stated in Section 16(2)(c) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria inter alia, “that the Economic System is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of Wealth and Means of Production and Exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group.” Okechukwu posited.
“We violently breached the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy of our Constitution. Regrettably, everyday we widen economic inequality, because government owned enterprises we privatised like Electricity failed. The Electricity Distribution Companies we privatised rather than improve electricity distribution still siphon billions from government treasury. The glaring result is the paradox of a nebulous economic system which produced the richest African and produced World Poverty Capital.”
“Truly, Nigeria’s security problem is that we run an artificial economic model, where there is an ocean of poor people and an island of rich people. The opaque system created banks which make billions of profit annually and operate poverty induced Shylock Interest Rates.” Okechukwu lamented.
“Therefore, rather than blame the game we should return to a mix-economy model, dish out the nebulous economic policy that the government has no business in business.
“Government has business in business, because we the people are the business in a primitive economy like ours. As long as we live under the illusion of a developing country, so long our inequality widens, so long our poverty widens and insecurity widens.” Okechukwu quipped.
“Indeed unless we curb Extreme-Poverty in the land, insecurity will remain an existential challenge. Extreme-Poverty is the obstacle we inherited when in 1986 we embarked on the IMF Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).”
Asked whether Social Investment Programme and other poverty alleviation initiatives have not addressed his Mixed Economy model, Okechukwu answered that “federal, state and local councils need to invest heavily more than is done presently in electricity, roads, railways, agriculture and social infrastructure like education and health. Even if it entails more borrowing.
“In sum, we can forge national unity and progress out of the insecurity challenge, if we invest heavily in physical and social infrastructure and ensure that the means of production, exchange, profit and property are not concentrated in a few pockets. This is the unsung inner minds of most aggrieved Nigerians.