SR Speaks: Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Economy of Lies

Federal minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
By SaharaReporters, New York

SaharaReporters received a statement signed by Paul C. Nwabuikwu, a senior aide to Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in response to our recent report on the dire financial crisis in Nigeria.

Instead of addressing our factual reporting of the declining fortune of the Nigerian economy, the minister resorted to her accustomed pettiness and name-calling.

She recently exhibited the same trait when she got Yushau Shuiab, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), fired from his job after he wrote an article questioning her lopsided appointments and accusing her of abuse of office.

Ms. Okonjo-Iweala comes across as intolerant of facts, blinded by an ambition to be hailed in foreign circles as the answer to Nigeria’s economic woes, and driven by an excessive opportunism that disdains stark reality. 

We affirm that our recent report, like others in the past focusing on the Nigerian economy, was the product of painstaking investigation, undertaken to expose corruption, lies and deceit perpetrated by Nigerian officials to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians that a transformation was taking place in their lives. This website speaks to numerous knowledgeable and reliable sources, in government and out, within Nigeria and abroad.

Their conclusion is that the so-called transformation trumpeted by Ms. Okonjo-Iweala and other functionaries of the Goodluck Jonathan administration is phony. Using their insight into the policies and actions of the government, they insist that Nigerians are materially worse off today than at any time in the recent past as a result of economic mismanagement and large scale graft, the hallmarks of the Jonathan regime.

During Ms. Okonjo-Iweala first tour of duty as finance minister under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, she pursued an aggressive debt repayment agenda, handing over more than $12 billion of Nigeria’s scarce funds to repay debts of doubtful origin. To justify that scam against the Nigerian people, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala boasted that, with the debt payment accomplished, Nigeria was in a position to save $1 billion per year, pledging that the monies would be invested in developing infrastructure.

Nigerians now wonder: Where are the $1 billion annual savings Ms. Okonjo-Iweala promised Nigerians in 2006? Where are the roads? Where are the new hospitals? Where are the significant improvements in the state of maternity care she promised Nigerians in 2006?

In 2007, when Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was giving esoteric speeches about the economic magic she and her colleagues were achieving for Nigerians, the exchange rate of the naira to the US dollar was 120 to one; today it is 160 naira to a dollar.

At a 2007 TED conference, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala disclosed that Nigeria had 40 billion in foreign reserves. Today, with rising oil prices in the international market, she admits that Nigeria only has $48 billion in the reserve.

Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has stepped into the role of chief obfuscator on the economy, encouraged no doubt by her ability to get away for so long with deception on and misrepresentation of the true condition of the Nigerian economy. We, however, refuse to be impressed by her steady string of fictional claims about a supposedly vibrant Nigerian economy.
 
It ought to be recorded that Ms. Okonjo-Iweala oversaw an era of some of the most reckless acts of corruption and heists of the Nigerian commonwealth in her first four years as finance minister under Mr. Obasanjo’s hypocritical administration. Under her watch, Nigeria attained bogus economic progress where numbers, charts and fake stats were frequently displayed and deployed to fool the unwary and the gullible. 
 
Meanwhile, under Mr. Obasanjo’s and her noses, billions of dollars of public funds were stolen in the name of “investments” to upgrade Nigeria’s electric grid. She helped to dispense import waivers to dubious businessmen and churches, an exercise that cost Nigeria a fortune.
 
Since Ms. Okonjo-Iweala’s second coming as minister, complete with the bizarre title of “coordinating” minister she crafted for herself, Nigeria’s economic condition has worsened.

Tell, where is the evidence of economic growth and buoyancy when almost six states of the Nigerian federation have been paralyzed by Islamist insurgency? Where is the sign of economic vitality when half of Nigeria’s oil production is stolen by crude robbers, most of them elements close to President Jonathan? Which foreign investors are pouring money into a country where the electrical grid has  nearly collapsed and at a time when the few local industries are moving to countries like Ghana and Benin?
 
Does Ms. Okonjo-Iweala calculate that most of the “vulture capital” operations run by some of her former colleagues that are selling bonds to Nigeria at cut throat prices can be considered investors even when they are already pulling out their funds and ripping Nigeria apart?

Where else in the world would an economy grow at 6.5% and yet fail to provide jobs for more than half of its youths? How is the economy working when Nigerian soldiers participating in peacekeeping operations in neighboring countries have to beg locals for food? If the Nigerian economy is “sound,” how come workers are being owed salaries? Why have many pensioners not been paid their entitlements after retirement? What explains the fact that ministries and parastatals have lately not received their allocations? 

If the economy is sparkling, why are Nigerian roads so bad? Why were they not fixed in the years Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has been practicing her economic wizardry? Which economy can survive the greed of a President Jonathan and his inner circle?

Today, Mr. Jonathan has pardoned corrupt former governors and other officials that Ms. Okonjo-Iweala condemned in 2007; the pardoned men now sit across the table from the president and his cabinet to further destroy Nigeria.

Which economy can survive such full-throttle promotion of corruption?

The questions for Ms. Okonjo-Iweala are many, but we are content to ask her to provide to the public a profile of the last four years of Nigeria’s so-called foreign reserves? If Nigeria has $48 billion in such reserves and it is a sign that our economy is buoyant, why does Nigeria have to borrow, even if interest-free loans?

Why does the minister designate the foreign reserve in US dollars but the so-called “Excess Crude” account in naira? And if the excess crude account was N5 billion, what was it when Ms. Okonjo-Iweala became finance minister?
 
We are surprised that it took Ms. Okonjo-Iweala several years to understand that Saharareporters is “activist media,” a tag we wear as a badge of honor.

Our mode of reporting scrutinizes official versions of events; we question the actions and policies of government officials; we have developed an ever-growing network of sources who avail us of the innermost secrets and deals of those in power because they trust us to report fearlessly and to protect their identity; we believe in speaking truth to power; and we always crosscheck statements made by sources before publishing accounts. We continue to demand openness and transparency in the conduct of governmental affairs; and we demand that Nigerians be allowed to feel the impact of any so-called economic growth, not in carefully manipulated press statements, bar charts and economic ratings and projections, but in the manner it impacts positively on their daily lives.
 
Ms. Okonjo-Iweala may lash out all she wants and choose to operate as an economic hit-woman, but we are not fazed. We will continue to beam a searchlight on her handling of the economy, including calling attention to her hypocritical role in empowering a cartel in the fuel import business, a cartel whose depredations she criticizes in the media when it suits her agenda.



Full Text Of Mrs. Okonjo Iweala's Response to SaharaReporters Report on the Nigerian economy: ECONOMY: THE LIES OF SAHARAREPORTERS



We have received several enquiries about a story titled “Nigerian Government broke; targets pension savings” posted on the website of Saharareporters.

The story, like many other recent articles by Saharareporters purporting to be exclusive stories on various aspects of the Nigerian economy, is a complete fabrication.



As Nigerians know, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan recently presented its mid-term report which is a forthright account of the achievements as well as challenges facing the economy.

The country has $48 billion in reserves, including N5 billion in the Excess Crude Account to help shore up the economy. So the idea that the country is broke is alarmist.

It is true that the country is experiencing some revenue shortfalls that everyone knows about due to oil theft for which the President is taking some serious measures.



Also, contrary to the claim in the story that the country has borrowed from local and international banks to finance recurrent spending, the Jonathan administration has in fact reversed the tendency of borrowing to finance recurrent as was the practice in the past.

Also untrue is the claim that the country has been downgraded by international ratings agencies. In fact the truth is the exact opposite; ratings agencies and international investors have consistently stated, through various platforms, that the Nigerian economy is a well-managed one with good prospects in the medium and long term.



Regarding the country’s debt situation, the overall picture is positive as the Coordinating Minister showed clearly in her recent well publicized statement. The multi-dimensional strategy adopted by the Jonathan administration is leading to positive outcomes.

The level of borrowing has been brought down, bonds are being paid off through a sinking fund and the country is not taking the kind of high interest loans that led to the debt burden which existed before the historic Paris Club debt deal. The Borrowing Plan which was approved by State Governors and the National Assembly is focused on financing power transmission projects, inter and intra city rail projects, dams and other key infrastructure.



The notion that the Jonathan government is “eyeing” the N3.4 trillion pension funds to finance deficits underscores the desperation of this “activist” medium and its sponsors. It is a total invention. In fact, the government is currently engaged in strengthening institutions and critical processes in the sector to enhance security and stability of the funds.



With this latest outing, Saharareporters has reinforced its well-earned reputation as a discredited purveyor of falsehood.



Paul C. Nwabuikwu
Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister
 
 

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lool average intelligent

lool average intelligent nigerian ,,,with the asuu strike

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a thief. She is full of lies and she has become the godmother of economic scammers fleecing our treasury. When she leaves her coordinating role, the truth would be made known. It's such a shame that this puffy chicks is still supervising an economy. It's so sad!

Iweala should accept criticisms than follow philosophy of.....

Mrs.Okonjo Iweala should take the truth said by SR in good faith rather than have ill will.SR has called a spade a spade to ensure a smooth growth of Nigeria's economy than for Mrs.Ngozi Iweala to follow the philosophy of the former Nigerian Ambassador to Venezuela,Mr.Oboro that his hobby is to tell lies against people.There is no need for Ngozi to cover the eyes of people with cotton wool.The truth has been said by SR.Nigerians need physical economic growth and not paper growth!

Mrs.Ngozi iweala do not follow discredited political appointtees

Mrs.Okonjo Iweala should take the truth said by SR in good faith rather than have ill will.SR has called a spade a spade to ensure a smooth growth of Nigeria's economy than for Mrs.Ngozi Iweala to follow the philosophy of the former Nigerian Ambassador to Venezuela,Mr.Oboro that his hobby is to tell lies against people.There is no need for Ngozi to cover the eyes of people with cotton wool.The truth has been said by SR.Nigerians need physical economic growth and not paper growth!

Mrs.Iweala do not follow discredited political appointees.

Mrs.Okonjo Iweala should take the truth said by SR in good faith rather than have ill will.SR has called a spade a spade to ensure a smooth growth of Nigeria's economy than for Mrs.Ngozi Iweala to follow the philosophy of the former Nigerian Ambassador to Venezuela,Mr.Oboro that his hobby is to tell lies against people.There is no need for Ngozi to cover the eyes of people with cotton wool.The truth has been said by SR.Nigerians need physical economic growth and not paper growth!

na na na

SR missed it...NOI should be celebrated by all.

wahala -is the 1st lady supposed to be in charge of her security

In journalism there always two sides to every story-if u dont know it (chief ibo Ikwenu wahala), know that from today-no media house worth its salt should and I mean it should ever attempt to go to town with any story without getting the views of all the parties involved in any dispute or news item-that SR yr darling SR failed to do-whether the ministry official confirms or denies it is none of yr bloody business-at least u made an attempt to balance your story 4 d reading public-sadly this new item on the minister can hardly be described as a story by any trained editor-not even fit to be called junk? This is what we refer to as speculative journalism or try (yr luck journalism)if we are not challenged by the parties involved fine-if they do then we abuse them-4 wahala nee buhari-so stop disgracing yourself here-with yr cut and nail ideas of APC! Sonala has been chased out-u will be next!

The Educated Illiterate Called Sowore

This is an article written by an Illiterate for an illiterate and gullible audience. It is unfortunate that the gullible Nigerian audience are too lazy to discover the true facts for themselves and rely on Sowore and SR that present distorted facts cum bare faced lies for as yet undisclosed reasons.This article is an insult to the intelligence of an average Nigerian. We deserve better.Nigerian Economy is not perfect by any means but it is in a better shape than Mrs Iweala found it.

SHE IS A SERIAL LIAR

This woman came to serve the interest of her masters - the IMF and world bank at the peril of her nation for whatever benefits they promised her. See her teeling blatant lies that if oil subsidy was not removed Nigeria will colapse and now she is shamelessly talking about sure p corruption. All her painting of the Nigerian economy are usually supported by the western financial institutions due to this unholy connvance. God will judge her for all her wic
kedness

rubbish

really ur a development consultant but u cant share any of this data with us how do we know wat ur talking about? who are dese independent sources ur really worrisome

SR Vs Iweala, Sowore this is Vendetta

There is a clear case of personal animosity and vendetta by Mr Sowore and SR against Mrs Iweala.I have read this article supposedly written by this "activist media" and decided that Sowore is either naive or unaware of the modus operandi of the Federation called Nigeria.Mrs Iweala is only the economic minister of the Federal Government of Nigeria.Nigeria has 36 States with seperate state Governments and Legislatures pursing seperate economic agendas.She can not be held responsible for the failure of every state Government.Read external reports about Nigeria's economy from S&P, Fitch, Moody etc.Dont rely on Sowore's deceit.Knowledge is power.

Were it not Iweala Jonathan Gov would have collapsed by now - 1

The presence of Iweala stopped Sanusi and other money locusts from fully emptying our treasury. She stablised the fund leakage and waste in the Jonathan PDP Government to her ability.

As Sanusi knew he could no longer be able to dictate to Jonathan and replace all his Ministers with the presence of Iweala, to undermine everyone around, he chose to toe along with Iweala and remain virtually quiet. All those Sanusi’s banking sectarianism and extremism, which he himself knew were not good for Nigeria banking, finance and economy, vanished overnight. But Sanusi quickly jacked up the minimum interest rate to 12% to undermine the economy in general.

Sanusi’s high interest rate measure makes lending far more expensive, hurt the economy and make Government economic decisions difficult. Sanusi did this to compensate mainly his northern people that depend more on bank deposits interest earnings, rather than to invest in business, to enjoy fat return at the expense of our economy.

Were it not Iweala Jonathan Gov would have collapsed by now - 2

All of these with the endemic corruption of the PDP people and the much leadership weakness of Jonathan, Iweala has little scope to assert her full authority and economic measures.

The only fault I attribute to Iweala is her desire to fund by borrowing. Were our society and economy taxed with the right and fair taxation rates and the taxes due were collected, we would have no need to resort to borrowing to fund the budget or for Jonathan to going to the National Assembly with begging bowl for supplementary budget approval.

The main constraint in the taxation aspect is again the corrupt PDP people and their Government. As the buck stops on Jonathan’s desk, Iweala could not take the blame on the non performing economy. Like every Minister, she has to be economical with the truth that our economy is growing without minding that we see with our eyes and read behind the Government published statistics.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

It still amazes me why Mrs. Ngozi Iweala is yet to accept that Nigeria is working as she anticipated. The economy managed by her under OBJ was in tatters. Look at this illuminating analysis of Mrs. Iweala's sojourn in Nigeria, titled: "The Return of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala" (http://ugowrite.blogspot.com/2012/01/nigeria-return-of-ngozi-okonjo-iwea...) to see that we ought to have scaled down our optimism, as counseled by this writer, when Jonathan was bringing this woman with great fanfare.

Okonjo-Iweala Is a Fraud.

I can't imagine George Osborne, the British Chancellor of Exchequer and Mrs Iweala's equivalent, having the time to personally make phone calls to Mr Shauib! I think the totally unimaginative title of Mrs Okonjo-Iweala's book says everything about the lady. We are stuck with Ngozi 'Reforming the Unreformable'!!!!!!She has exposed herself as nothing but a fraud.

Sahara Reporters, keep it up.

Sahara Reporters, keep it up. The truth will always stand.GOD is prepared to eliminate these evil people by fire by force. Up SAHARA REPORTERS!

I am not surprise

I am not surprise that SR is coming out hot against NOI. They have always tell everyone who cares to listen that they are after that woman. They want to bring her down by all means. But I have a message for u: all your scheming to bring her down will not succeed. She is our hero.

SR: Why?Why? Why?

The report by SR was very misleading to say the least-at best scary-the issue which SR failed to handle was about Nigeria going cap in hand to beg 4 money meant for pensioners-if SR calls that journalism, i call that junk journalism-what SR failed to do in that watery piece on the financial situation of 9ja was to get an expert opinion on the matter-even an official of the ministry of Finance to confirm or deny d report-that was not done-Its very clear that piece was sponsored by APC-SR is attempting to impose on Nigerians-I laugh when some claim late Gani ati Beko would have sent her to the cleaners-where were they when Gani pleaded with them to vote for him? In Siberia abi?Sowore is from Ondo state what did he do to help late Gani win his LGA as an activist?The reply to the ministers query, stinks-just mere insults-same as d watery piece that SR tried to force down our throats-4 buhari ati tinubu-admit yr mistakes for once biko-SR

I have now independently

I have now independently checked out your figures and allegations and have confirmed that you lied in your report. I am terribly disappointed in SR this time around.

I am a Development Consultant to two key investors in public infrastructure. It is part of my job to collate data from various sectors of the economy (not summaries published by the office of the Coordinating Minister), including data independently gathered by the Commerce Desk of foreign missions in Nigeria, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Economics journal, etc. My consulting work is of such fiduciary nature that I would face serious legal and professional consequences if I use wrong data to advise my clients. Credible data from these independent sources do contradict your erroneous claim. Really worrisome.

RE: Okonjo-Iweala: A bubble waiting to burst

Hmmm...your point, not good enough.

Truly June Salary is Unpaid as at 02-07-2013

I can confirm that I am yet to receive my June 2013 salary as at 8:40 a.m. today being 2nd July, 2013 as I write this note. I am believing the story that that there is serious cash crump in the economy.
There could be various other persons too, but since we are not paid in the same bank, I cannot speak for them.

Revolution

Egyptians are on the street again. When will Nigerian Starts? Or is it a question of who will bell the cat?

@ Deri: Stop displaying stupidity online ...shut up for once!

@ Deri:
Lecturing SaharaReporters is not in your best interest since you end up messing in public. How daft you can be is beyond anyone's imagination. Advising SR to get an "expert opinion" from the Ministry of Finance to deny/confirm their report is overwhelming stupidity. What do you think would happen to any "expert" from her ministry who sided with SR? She got a chap fired for airing his views about her hiring practices, much less her subordinate. Deri, concentrate on your ogogoro and leave reasoning for people with functional brains!

SR is here for the truth, if I were on their team Madame's ass would be steaming by now. She borrowed from Peter to pay Paul ...now, she's borrowing from Paul to pay back Peter. So, Round-n-Round ...goes the Circus Clown !!!

We're in the gallery and SR is the Announcer. Kapisch?

Yushau is on Dismissal

I learnt from staff in Ministry of Information Abuja that Okonjo-Iweala in association with SGF have recommended the dismissal of Yushau Shuaib from Public Service with immediate effect. Labaran Maku the Minister cant do anything because of his gubernatorial ambition. There is serious grumbling among the staff with condemnation of the Ministers and SGF

Okonjo-Iweala: A bubble waiting to burst

I have never trusted this woman. She's a complete fraud and all this will become open very soon when she is publicly handcuffed and sent to rot in jail. One clear sign that she has things to hide is the way she surrounds herself with people from her clan? Okonjo-Iweala (Minister of Finance); Arumah Oteh (DG Securities & Exchange Commission); Oscar Onyema (DG, Stock Exchange); Bright Okogu (DG Budget Office); Uche Orji (DG, Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund). She will not trust someone from another tribe being her spokesman, hence Paul Nwachukwu.

IDIOT RAPHAEL NO BE SHE TALK

IDIOT RAPHAEL NO BE SHE TALK SAY NA OIL SUBSIDY PEOPLE KIDNAP HER MAMA AND SHE WAS GOING TO FIGHT ON TO THE END ONLY TO FIND OUT MONTHS LATER SAY NA HER SACKED DISGRUNTED WORKER FROM THE PALACE ARRANGE THE WHOLE SHOWS THE WOMAN TO LIE SELF,ABI AS OBOY LEAVE PALACE E ENTER OIL AND GAS BUSINESS?

Thief

Nigeria needs saharareporters in print media to reach the masses to help them see the truth.Have they built one refinery?just rhetoric talk of how they have cut down on the fuel importers,build refineries and stop that capital flight witch you should know better yet they are shouting sure p just another way to find chop for chris kolade and fund pdp from the back.Sure i believe you madam we have $48 billion cooling off in an account yet no electricity for house,maternal care worst in the world all her children gave birth abroad my drivers wife just died over the weekend giving birth if you ain't got nothing to do grab your share and get out madam and stop deceiving us.As the Great Bob Marley said you "can fool some people sometimes but you can't fool all the people all the time".You Dig.

IDIOT woman that came to cry

IDIOT woman that came to cry at the oil subsidy probe january 2012 about how she loved Nigeria and came back to serve less than 3 months after April 2012 when saharareporters published her interest in the world bank job she came out and publicly denied any interest,fews weeks later those dundee house of assembly people where shouting about her qualifications/ endorsement(JOKERS)they no know say world bank president is strictly reserved for the Yankees.Next thing she is running for world bank president hypocrite unpatriotic woman i've been saying it for a long time criminal woman,happy sahara reporters has the medium and guts to expose these common confident trickster crooks.

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala lies

Sahara Repoters, Godbless you. I want assure you that you underreported Madam Cordinating Ministers Crime Pls ask her these questions
1 What is holding the appointment of FIRS Chairman?
2 Let her tell you about renovation of Airports when she and Stella travel to China
3 Sovereign Wealth let her explain where is the money going and for what project
4 Let Former Chairman of Pension fund open up on 24 billion in her custody
5 The Mc Kenzie or whatever they call themselves as Consultant to inland revenue services what is their job there?
6 It an open secret that her two brothers have constituted nuisance in Nigeria, FG offices intimidating govt. officials for job and favor true or false?
7 Consulting services is the order of the day to siphon Govt. money?

economic doom

this so called iweala is a minister of economic doom

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