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Former Minister Narrates How IMF Borrowed Money From Nigeria In 1974

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Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, a minister of finance during the second republic, has revealed how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) borrowed money from Nigeria in 1974.

Speaking when former Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani paid him a private visit at his residence in Sokoto, North-West Nigeria, Alhaji said he signed the loan agreement when he was Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Though the former Finance Minister did not disclose the amount involved, Vanguard quoted him as saying:

“I weep for Nigeria for what it has become today. The country has vast resources that if well harnessed, could lead the country to greater heights.

‘’In 1974 when I was permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, the IMF approached us for a loan. I signed the agreement on behalf of Nigeria. Unfortunately, today expenses of the government have driven us into recession.’’

He added that Nigeria’s over-dependence on oil was the result of the economic problems the nation was plunged into, saying, “Aside from oil and agriculture, Nigeria had industries that were earning foreign exchange for it. Agriculture and the industries were allowed to recede and when global fuel prices crashed, we are nowhere today.”

The former minister noted 36 states is too much for Nigeria to handle and each of them have become breeding grounds for corruption.

“The more states we have, the more corruption there is. We should have between six and twelve states. We should cut our coat according to our size,” he said.

Sharing his views on the ongoing clamor for secession in the country, Alhaji said Nigeria should remain united, noting “there is nothing better for us than a united Nigeria. We have potentials that could be harnessed and enjoyed together.”

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