Mr Osita Okechukwu, Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), believes President Bola Tinubu deserves praise for declining to join the BRICS economic group.
At the 15th BRICS Summit in South Africa, the bloc admitted Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, among other prospective developing countries, fueling speculation that Nigeria’s application was rejected for failing to meet some key membership criteria.
However, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, Okechukwu, a founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated that Nigeria would be better off maintaining its decades-long diplomatic position as a non-aligned country.
Stressing that he was thrilled when Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, cleared the air and said;
So far, we have not applied for the membership of BRICS. And it is majorly informed by the fact that my principal, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a true democrat that believes in consensus building.Whereas one has nothing against Brazil, Russia, India, China nor our brothers South Africa that make up the BRICS; however Nigeria stands to benefit hugely if we maintain our age-old standpoint of multilateral diplomacy.
He said the worldview origin of BRICS, saying, “records have it that to spur economic development outside the Breton wood system, the BRICS, a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and later South Africa, was formed. Ironically, the acronym was coined in 2001 by Goldman Sachs, and in 2006, the bank opened an equity fund for investors in the BRICS. The group had since established the New Development Bank (NDB).”
On the proposal that Nigeria’s BRICS membership be based primarily on economic growth, Okechukwu stated that while economic growth was important, it should not come at the expense of Nigeria’s cherished freedom and rule of law, which the bloc’s leadership despised.
Whilst one agrees that BRICS may engender economic growth; however neither the West nor Russia or China is Father Xmas, therefore our destiny is in our hands. And most importantly we cannot gloss over our cherished freedom and rule of law which maybe in jeopardy in the BRICS alliance.
Otherwise, the New Development Bank (NDB), a multilateral lending institution founded in 2014 and headquartered in Shanghai, had 25 billion dollars in recorded assets in 2022, less than a tenth of the World Bank’s total, and not much economic growth was stimulated, according to Okechukwu.
As a result, he urged Tinubu to maintain Nigeria’s multilateral diplomatic strategy, which allows Nigeria to operate and relate freely with all blocs today and in the future, ultimately guiding jealousy its national interest.