by Farouk Martins Aresa
What is surprising is that it took Nigeria’s Buhari this long to capitulate to Foreign countries that make the economic rules for the rest of the world. It takes world power like Russia and China to stand up to them. Even then they could trade with China to spite Russia. While the Japanese surrendered to end the war, their economic brains were intact. Unlike Africans, never gave up local and traditional customs but maximized western quality control in their products to export.
No matter what, we knew it’s a matter of time before Nigeria would succumb like most African countries unless we find courageous leaders risking confrontation with economic policies that manipulate or dictate floating currencies to Euro and dollar. It’s the exchange they want for our money. We defended naira with our reserves but it has never appreciated. Kept interest rates high, they kept lecturing us on how our currency must float by their economic policies not ours.
Floating African currency is determined by their Market manipulations, not ours. Cannot query those that rigged the market in their favor leading to gains or stock crashes. Just before the last economic recession in the United States, most major rating agencies gave maximum confidence to the banks and other financial institutions that brought the world down with USA. Years after, none of them have gone to jail. So why are we baffled by U.S enthusiasms for Bernie Sander?
You ever wondered how Africa countries backed by gold reserves became poorer than owners of promissory notes or papers printed in Europe and America? Well, it might get worse, losing arable lands and factories if we borrowed more promissory notes for nonessentials goods while holding porous baskets so every politician could loot ten times more than we borrow in foreign papers. There is a common habit among speculators to convert any resource of substance into papers as long as it is printed in dollars; which we can exchange for foreign manmade materials.
Are private and Presidential fleet essential in countries using its reserves to pay foreign airlines? Foreign trained and some locally trained economists only understand economic theories that worked in western economies to pay nonessential debts. Backed by World Bank and IMF Debt Principle that make sure they keep us in perpetual debt with a teaser rate knowing full well we are going to default like poor people in their countries do. We had a Finance Minister that paid off our debt, only to turn around preaching advantages of debt in a new Regime and got awards.
We are aware of how plantation or farm workers are treated. Late Cesar Chavez, a lawyer lived modestly because he dedicated his life to Farm Workers fighting for their rights. Farm workers were paid all right. However, the Debt or Credit theory applied just like African countries, was to make sure that they owed more than they were paid by the time they were ready to leave a farm. Some of them thought by making their wives and kids work too, they could pay off faster.
IMF and World Bank know most African countries cannot pay back loans. Every five years or so, there are housing bubbles in United States as foreclosure swallows some home owners under the bridge. These are called bad loans that are repackaged and sold to other companies. Home owners that made little or no down payment acquire Mortgage Insurance. Mortgage companies and banks are paid off and they then move on and repeat the same process every five years.
This was what led to the last worst recession in United States bringing down the whole world with it. In the case of African countries, their mortgage insurance is their country. Since the countries always default on their loans, they are repackaged and sold to foreign investors to renegotiate. We are all familiar with how Nigeria borrowed $11m, paid back $32m and had to renegotiate another $12m in interest and penalties. They turn Africa into perpetual debtors.
It is profitable for foreign investors because a country will not run away and if the country goes bankrupt, they must have made their money anyway. Whatever is to be repaid are passed on to the next generation or buy up the world most arable land for agribusiness, build properties set in hands of the foreign investors. These properties would be sold to highest income earners and foreigners that could afford them. In most cases, it would be beyond the reach of most natives.
The houses repossessed in United States are no different from lands captured in Africa. Those houses are torn down for urban renewal. Others are sold for a dollar to investors to rebuild. As the poor people move away, middle or high income people move in. By law in the western world, it is legal. So if the same process is repeated in Africa for raw exports, it’s not surprising.
Africans have to be trained to depend faithfully on imported and exotic food that are not grown at home and if grown, must be controlled by foreigners that secure agreement to export before they satisfy local consumption. Africans grow sugarcane but we never have enough sugar at home, it must be imported. The reason for this is important. Most of the exotic drinks like coca cola have ingredients that are mostly concentrated sugar and water that must be imported.
It is one thing to displace fishermen occupying the land they do not own in Maroko and turn it into beautiful Lekki, but quite another to displace owners from their land and farms because your government took loans they knew they could not pay back. It is like the head of a family using property or old compound as a collateral to borrow money they know they can never pay back. That is how some of us lost property or land that have been in the family for generations.
There are many stubborn casualties: Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Congo etc. as Nigeria’s Buhari. They were severely punished for not playing along with western dictates of economic policy: growers of raw materials not sellers of finished products. By the time we lack imported food or essential commodities at home, our people would revolt and overthrow their leaders. There were many steps before it got to that stage. First, adapt tastes and factories for foreign consumption.