Falana to Tinubu: Reject IMF’s pressure to increase prices of fuel, electricity

The Chairman of the Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Femi Falana, SAN, has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard the advice from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding increasing fuel and electricity prices in Nigeria.

Falana, in a statement to Vanguard, highlighted the inconsistency of IMF’s advice, citing a contrasting recommendation given to UK Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, against tax cuts.

He emphasized Tinubu’s previous stance on maintaining electricity subsidies, as noted by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, in November 2023. Adelabu reiterated Tinubu’s position, citing concerns about the economic burdens faced by Nigerians.

Despite assurances from Nigerian regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) about no plans for price hikes, the IMF directed the Nigerian government to remove fuel and electricity subsidies, citing the need to align prices with market values.

Falana cautioned against blindly following IMF directives, pointing out the different standards applied to Nigeria compared to other countries like the UK and France, where energy subsidies continue despite economic challenges.

He urged the Nigerian government to prioritize the country’s interests over IMF recommendations, especially considering the disparities in economic realities between Nigeria and advanced capitalist economies.