The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) have condemned the reported statement credited to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Media Chief for Africa on the state of Nigeria economy, saying its advice on recovery of the nation’s economy was ill motivated.
The unions who stated their displeasure in a jointly issued statement in Lagos and signed by the General Secretary, NUPENG, comrade Afolabi Olawale and General Secretary, PENGASSAN, Comrade Okugbawa Lumumba said the statement has created panic in the country with associated hoarding of petroleum products, panic buying , skyrocketed increases in prices of goods and services in the country.
They said IMF is clearly speaking from the two sides of its mouth, in the sense that in one breath, the Media Chief praises the significant progress the nation has made in terms of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that increased by 1.9 percent in 2018 from 0.8 percent in 2017 on the back of improvement in manufacturing and other economic policies of the government, while on the other hand, offering poisonous advice on further economic recovery.
“It is quite bewildering and baffling that IMF is not considering the pains and agonies Nigerians went through even to achieve the acknowledged gains of 2018, with almost two-thirds of the world’s hungriest people among the Nigerians.
“One wonders why IMF is still callously and wickedly advising the government to inflict more pains and harms on the people? Imposing more stringent reforms in domestic revenue mobilization including amongst other increase in VAT and securing more domestic oil revenues through subsidy removal at this time is clearly an attempt to destabilize the nation,” it added.
They stated that the statement is embellished and loaded with bad intentions, considering the antecedents of IMF in our economic challenges and struggles over decades of our nationhood.
“The various devaluation of our currency on the strength of advices of same IMF has been a very big burden on our nation for several years now.
‘’The leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN are aware of what Nigerians are going through, we empathize with them and will not turn blind eyes to any further attempt to increase their pains and impoverish them further”.
“May we put it clearly here, that we profoundly appreciate the efforts, commitment and determination of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to put Nigeria in the right economic stead after several years of economic maladministration and mismanagement. It is really heart -warming that these efforts are being widely acknowledge at home as demonstrated with his re-election for 2nd term in office and globally, even by the IMF”.
They pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to constantly put in mind the current hardship Nigerians are going through in the collective journey to economic recovery.