Threats of oil prices rises sparked protests in Nigeria in December. The IMF has put the government under pressure to cease subsidies for oil which it claims distorts the market. The NLC, the main trade union body in Nigeria, opposes the increase on the basis that ordinary Nigerians cannot afford higher fuel prices. The workers carried posters calling for the removal of President Obasanjo’s economic adviser, Philip Asiodu, who is regarded as too pro-IMF. Banners read: “Obasanjo, don’t aggravate our poverty, stop the fuel price increase now”; and “Remove Asiodu, IMF agent in government”. Addressing workers, union leader Adams Oshiomhole said, “We are on a mission to rescue the president [who has] been hijacked by the IMF and the World Bank and the Asiodus. This country belongs to Nigerians.”
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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