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Okechukwu, VON DG, praises Tinubu for avoiding the BRICS.



Osita Okechukwu, Director General of Voice of Nigeria VON and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, hailed President Bola Tinubu on Sunday for declining to join the BRICS group.

At the 15th BRICS Summit in South Africa, the bloc welcomed Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, among others, fueling rumours that Nigeria’s candidature was denied for failing to meet several key membership criteria.

However, Okechukwu believes Nigeria is better off preserving its decades-long diplomatic position as a non-aligned country.

He emphasised how pleased he was when the Vice President, His Excellency Kashim Shettima, cleared the air and stated, “So far, we have not applied for BRICS membership.” And it is heavily influenced by the fact that my principal, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a true democracy who believes in achieving consensus.

“Whereas one has nothing against Brazil, Russia, India, China, or our brothers South Africa that comprise the BRICS; however, Nigeria stands to benefit enormously if we maintain our age-old standpoint of multilateral diplomacy,” Okechukwu added.

“Records have it that the BRICS, a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and later South Africa, was formed to spur economic development outside the Breton wood system,” he said. Ironically, Goldman Sachs originated the phrase in 2001, and in 2006, the firm launched a BRICS equity fund for investors. Since then, the consortium has founded the New Development Bank (NDB).”

On the proposal that Nigeria’s membership in BRICS is primarily motivated by economic growth, Okechukwu said that while economic progress is vital, it should not come at the expense of Nigeria’s prized freedom and rule of law, which the bloc’s leadership despises.

“While it is true that the BRICS may spur economic growth, neither the West nor Russia or China are Father Christmas, so our fate is in our own hands.” Most significantly, we must not gloss over our prized freedom and rule of law, which may be jeopardised by the BRICS alliance.

“Otherwise, the New Development Bank (NDB), a multilateral lending institution founded in 2014 and headquartered in Shanghai, had $25 billion in recorded assets in 2022, less than a tenth of the World Bank’s total, and not much economic growth was stimulated,” Okechukwu added.

He urged President Tinubu to retain Nigeria’s multilateral diplomatic strategy, which allows Nigeria to work and connect freely with all blocs today and in the future, and ultimately direct jealousy our national interest.

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