Nigeria should join BRICS, discard economic policies of IMF, World Bank–Falana

Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has asked the federal government to join BRICS, an economic bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday, Falana said to rescue the Nigerian currency, the country must join BRICS to trade with the naira instead of the dollar.

The human rights lawyer wondered why the country is not joining BRICS when some countries are making efforts to join the economic bloc.

He added that Nigeria should sell its crude oil in naira so that buyers can source for naira to buy the products, which he said will strengthen the naira at the foreign exchange market.

"There are countries in the world today insisting that we are not going to be tied to American dollars, and those countries are in the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa," he said.

"Others are joining them; Saudi Arabia has joined them. UAE, Ethiopia, Egypt, and all that. Nigeria is not there. We cannot be more Catholic than the Pope.

"If friends of the West are joining BRICS, why are we not there? So that we can trade in naira.

"If I had my way, my own radical policy would be that I would sell Nigerian gas and crude oil in naira. Let those who want to buy our products look for naira. That is how to promote your currency."

In August 2023, Vice-President Kashim Shettima represented President Bola Tinubu at the 15th BRICS summit which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Shettima said Nigeria did not apply to join BRICS and that there are many variables to be taken into consideration.

BRICS, which considers itself a counterweight to Western powers, disclosed at the end of the summit that new members would be joining its fold on January 1.

The new members are Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Speaking further, Falana said the federal government must reject the economic policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, especially as it pertains to the removal of petrol subsidy and floating of the naira.

He said there is no country in the world where the government does not subsidise one product or the other; and that the policies of the IMF and the World Bank cannot stabilise the country.

"The right thing to do is to reject the prescriptions of the IMF and World Bank, which are to remove fuel subsidy, float your currency, and so on. These have never assisted any country to develop. The government is dancing around the problem," he said.

"Many of us were opposed to the removal of petrol subsidy because there is no society in the world where the government does not subsidise one product or another, even in the most advanced capitalist societies.

"That is why Nigerians must begin to ask the government to discard and jettison the deleterious programmes and policies of the IMF and the World Bank."

The senior lawyer added that the only body recognised by the constitution to advise the president on economic matters is the national economic council (NEC) and not the IMF and World Bank.

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