December 7, 2022

The global scam I have witnessed in the corridors of power in Washington| Opinion

IMFC Governors meet at their IMFC Plenary session chaired by IMFC Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam April 16
IMFC Governors meet at their IMFC Plenary session chaired by IMFC Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam April 16

I am very sad today. Not because anything happened to me, not because it’s been extremely cold in Washington, not even because we need more subscribers for Today News Africa to keep focusing on what is important to our readers, but because in our world today, up is down, and down is up. Hear me out first!

Nigerian Miister of Finance Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed at the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IFMC) Plenary meeting held at IMF Headquarters during the 2019 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings

Let’s assume that I post a picture today from the World Bank Headquarters here in Washington DC, and say I am glad to announce that I have become the director of communication at the World Bank. My salary is $1 million per year! I have a big office and 100 people who report to me! I would likely get thousands of likes and many friend requests. People would likely see me as the symbol of success. They would congratulate me

Let’s now assume that I post the same picture from Today News Africa’s office and say, rejoice with me, I am the editor of Today News Africa in DC. I have a modest salary and only 5 people who report to me… not forget to subscribe to Today News Africa and also keep donating to Today News Africa by going to! I would likely have less likes and less friend requests.

Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva facilitates a discussion on Regional Financing Arrangements during the 2020 Annual Meetings at the International Monetary Fund in Washington

However, let’s see how both work. One is almost a scam and the other is genuine.

For instance, a Nigerian minister of finance flies to Washington to seek a loan from the World Bank, maybe $2.2 billion. She tells the World Bank, our people are suffering because of COVID-19, our infrastructure is dilapidated, we even need more schools and hospitals. The World Bank doesn’t really care. It releases the loan. She flies back to Abuja and money begins to arrive. Most of it is actually stolen. Virtually nothing goes to the people. Nothing to the people who have lost their job to COVID, nothing to teachers, nothing to doctors in Lagos, Akure or Port Harcourt. It’s mainly stolen.

The World Bank director of communication in Washington D.C. releases a statement, “we have approved a $2.2 billion (financial assistance) for Nigeria to tackle COVID-19, rebuild its crumbling infrastructure and fix schools and health problems.” The statement gets to Today News Africa. I publish the first story. Breaking news, Nigeria gets $2.2 billion loan from World Bank to fix its many problems.

Then in the days that follow, I begin to call the director of communication at the World Bank. Thanks for your statement. Can we meet to discuss that loan? How much is the interest rate? How much are they repaying? When should Nigeria pay back? What if they default, how much higher would the interest rate go? Why are you giving the loan now when last year’s loan was even stolen? How much money do they even owe you now? Do you even know how previous loans were used? How do you explain that a $2.2 billion loan is now worth $4 billion loan? How do you even verify that the money is going to the people, the real people in need? Why should unborn Nigerian kids pay back what these guys are stealing? You guys are a bunch of scammers. May God forgive you!

World Bank Group President David Malpass gives opening speech

Finally, the director of communication may tell me, Simon, this is not for publication. Let’s chat like men. What would you like us to do? If we do not give loans, China would give loans, the European Development Bank would, the Asian Development Bank would or the African Development Bank would. Simon, no one really cares. All we want is the interest on the loans. That’s what sustains us. That’s what has sustained us for decades.

Call it a scam if you want but it’s not our fault. The people should elect honest leaders. That’s not our job. We also have to survive in a highly competitive world where China is rising. How would I pay my bills if no one is getting the loans? We have to survive, Simon! We need to get you some ads for your publication (In other words, just join the system, it’s a vicious world out there)…..

There you have it! But who do Facebook friends like most? Not Today News Africa…No the guy who says subscribe to our publication or keep donating and asks tough questions!!! But the World Bank….

The director of communication may even share their latest luxury car and $5 million house….the editor at Today News Africa may share his modest car and apartment. Then the society says the most successful person is actually part of the global scam.

The World Bank is not the only one. It’s the same system that sustains capitalism. The creditors are governments, business and pharmaceutical leaders, and the top people we all respect, clap for and see on television in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and elsewhere.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks with World Bank President David Malpass during the Development Committee plenary at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington

The victims are you and I, the people, the people in need, the people who clap for them, the people who respect them, the people who love them, the people who struggle to pay rent, the people who struggle to eat, the people who struggle to tell the truth, to help the people see the reality, to lift the veil and deceit, the people like me who struggle to expose the global scam and exploitation of capitalism.

That’s why I am sad today. Because up is down and down is up in our world today! 

Simon Ateba, Publisher and White House Correspondent for Today News Africa in Washington

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