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NIGERIA: Has Okonjo-Iweala Managed our Economy Well?

 Is it true that she was crying like a baby in order to retain her job as a Finance minister?
Who are you referring to?

Who else? Our Madam Economy of course.
Who is Madam Economy?

You ask as if you are not in this country. Who else is Madam Economy other than Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy (CME).
So who told you she was crying like a baby? Or were you referring to when her mother was kidnapped some years ago?

No way! Did you not read the Epistle according to Professor Chukwuma Soludo, former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria? How she said Madam Economy was weeping profusely when she was moved from Finance ministry to Foreign Affairs under former President Obasanjo?
Look, don’t mind that prof. I think he is an APC agent. Don’t forget he had been hurting ever since he failed to secure the gubernatorial ticket in Anambra State. He must have been lying in wait on how to take his pound of flesh from the Nigerian government. So I advise you to read those his long letters with circumspect spirit.

Really? Did you read his response to Okonjo-Iweala’s attack on him? It does not strike me like the punch of a politician or its agent. Soludo took Madam on every point and issue she raised and literally tore her arguments to pieces. I suspect that Madam Economy must be regretting ever trying to reply Soludo, a first-class economist and professor of Economics.
Look, don’t sensationalise the issue. Do not forget that this is a political season. Politicians are won’t to explore every issue to their advantage. So don’t help stoke the fire of partisan debate.

There is nothing partisan about poor economic management. There is nothing partisan about an overwhelming poverty index. There is nothing partisan about huge corruption wrecking us as a people. There is nothing partisan about saying that Nigeria has lost about N30 trillion in the last four years under the watch of Madam Economy. Are you surprised that Okonko-Iweala, in all her learnedness and hitherto determination to prove her right, has gone quiet and too soon surrendered in the battle of economic wit between her and Soludo?
My brother, it is a matter of facts versus fiction of a bit of facts and a bit of fiction (faction).
This is how you people bandy figures anyhow. That was how Soludo’s successor claimed that $49.8 billion was missing, and then reduced it to $10.8 billion and later $20 billion. Can’t you be critical? In this Nigerian economy, N30 trillion will be missing and we are still breathing? Come on!

How naive you can be! Look, these are issues of fact. Soludo gave a clear account of how he arrived at that figure. Go and read his response. Or did you not even hear that the forensic audit ordered by the Federal Government has confirmed that indeed the NNPC and NPDC are owing the government and ordered that they refund the sum of $1.48 Billion?  Is the alarm of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi not being confirmed now?
If, by the admission of the Finance minister, about 600,000 barrels of crude are stolen everyday, do you know what that amounts to in just one month, let alone four years? Remember that a barrel sold for $147 some time ago, before the price started tumbling. Do you see how suddenly some riverine miscreants of yesterday have swung into being parvenus and even owning chains of private jets? And they insult us further by citing these indices as evidences of a transformed economy?
Look, don’t   blame Okonjo-Iweala for the mess in the oil and gas sector. Another powerful female minister is in charge of that. And because the Petroleum minister enjoys special attention from the President, Okonjo-Iweala, hardly interferes with what goes on in that ministry. Nobody wants a battle of the amazons in high places. So,….

(cuts in) So what? What is Okonjo –Iweala being called Cordinating minister of the Economy for if she is not involved in the petroleum ministry? So what is she really coordinating without the oil and gas industry? So what is she earning foreign currency for?
Look, I don’t buy that silly excuse. Under the Finance Minister, Nigeria’s economic indices have been heading south. Today, our entire foreign reserve has been massively depleted to shore-up a falling Naira. Yet the Naira exchanged for N208 per dollar as at yesterday. Our Excess Crude Account has been scrapped. Local and external debts which she cleared before in her first term as minister, has risen sharply again. Pray what did they do with all that we have been earning as a nation?…. And you sit down there and talk about a coordinating minister of the economy. I am sorry, she has coordinated the economy into a comatose state. We don’t have to be economists to feel the pain of a crushing economy.
You are so ignorant. You have chosen to forget that under this administration the Nigerian economy has been adjudged as the strongest in Africa. True or False? Under this administration, over 1.3 million jobs are being created every year, essentially because Nigeria has become the destination point of foreign investors. Do you know how our GDP has increased as a nation?

My brother, all those figures pushed in books and files alone but are at variance with what is on ground at Oshodi or Sabon Gari, do not make much sense to me.
But the truth is that Okonjo-Iweala’s expertise has saved Nigeria from economic ruin.

Really? Please ask her where she is before the Naira collapsed to this all time low. Ask her where she is when 600,000 barrels of oil are stolen everyday. Ask her what they did with our over $67 Billion inherited foreign reserves. Ask her despite her belief in savings, Nigeria suddenly does not have any fall back position from the times we had a near windfall from oil sales? My brother, those are the issues Soludo raised. We demand answers not acquiescing silence.
Once again, I warn you. The times are evil. Political times are perilous times. Be ware of what you believe.

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