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Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala Claps Back at Soludo | Calls Him an “Embittered Loser”

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - Time Magazine - April 2014 - BellaNaija.comCoordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is not happy about former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo’s article in which he declared that President Jonathan and APC presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari are both incapable of handling the country’s economy.

Okonjo-Iweala has expressed her displeasure by penning a response to Soludo’s article, in which she calls him an embittered loser in Nigeria’s political arena and dismisses all the criticisms he made about Jonathan’s administration.

Here are excerpts from her response, titled Beyond Belief: Soludo’s Self-Serving Article on Economic Management is Deficit in Facts, Logic, and Honour (Response to “Buhari Vs Jonathan: Beyond the Election, by Charles Soludo”):

 

  1. For anyone who has not read Professor Charles Soludo’s article in the Vanguard (online version) on January 25 2015, I would encourage them to do so. It is littered with abusive and unbecoming language. It shows how an embittered loser in the Nigerian political space can get so derailed that they commit intellectual harakiri by deliberately misquoting economic facts and maliciously turning statistics on their head to justify a hatchet job. We hope all the intellectuals in the international circles in which Professor Soludo has told us he flies around in will read what a Professor of Economics has chosen to do with his intellect.

  1. In this one article Soludo has shamelessly pandered to so many past leaders that Nigerians are asking one more time – what position is Soludo gunning for now? He claims in his article that he has had his own share of public service, yet he has failed twice in his attempts to be Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential candidate of various parties. There is definitely an issue of character with Prof. Charles Soludo and his desperate search for power and relevance in Nigeria. Nigerians should therefore beware of so-called intellectuals without character and wisdom because this combination is fatal.

  1. But let us turn to the main subject of Soludo’s discourse. So much of what is written is outright nonsense and self-seeking aggrandizement that need not be dignified with a response. It is totally remarkable that Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the man who presided over the worst mismanagement of Nigeria’s banking sector as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between May 2004 and May 2009, can write about the mismanagement of the economy.

  1. Nigerians must be reminded of his antecedents as CBN Governor, and even prior to that, as the Chief Economic Adviser to the President. The consolidation of the banking sector was a good policy idea of the Obasanjo Administration but Soludo went on to thoroughly mismanage its implementation leading to the worst financial crisis in Nigeria’s history. So what did Soludo do?

  1. After consolidation, the regulatory functions of the Soludo-led CBN were very poorly exercised. As Governor, he failed to adequately supervise and regulate the now larger banks – an anomaly in Financial Sector Supervision. In fact as every Nigerian knows, in his time there was very little separation between the regulators and the regulated which is a violation of a key requirement of Central Banking success. This led to infractions in corporate governance in many banks as loans and other credit instruments running to hundreds of billions of naira were extended to clients without following due process, and several of these loans could not be paid back. This massive accumulation of bad debts or non-performing loans as they are called in the banking sector meant that our banks were ill-positioned to deal with the global financial crisis when it hit.

  1. In fact, the banking sector was brought to its knees and required a massive bailout by Nigerian tax payers. This bailout was done by his successor (now Emir of Kano) who cleaned up all the bad debts and transferred them to the newly-established AMCON, from where they are managed today. So let it be noted for the record books that Soludo’s single-handed mismanagement of the banking sector led to an incredible accumulation of liabilities that will cost tax payers about N5.67 trillion (being the total face value of AMCON-issued bonds) to clean up. Let it be noted also that this amount, which is more than the entire Federal Government 2015 Budget, constitutes the bulk of Nigeria’s “contingent liabilities” mentioned in Soludo’s article. It is only in Nigeria where someone who perpetrated such a colossal economic atrocity would have the temerity to make assertions on public debt and the management of the economy.

  1. Let us now look at some of the points he makes. Luckily, Soludo has told us that he has been busy travelling internationally, hobnobbing with his global partners. It is obvious from this article that from the rarefied heights at which he is flying he is completely out of touch with what is happening with the management of this economy. Take his comments on the mismanagement of the economy and the imposition of the austerity measures. The present fall in oil prices, a global phenomenon over which Nigeria has no control, has given every charlatan the opportunity to attack the economy, and by extension the managers of the economy

  1. It is true that the economy grew well during the second-term of former President Obasanjo as a result of the reforms supported by the President and implemented by the Economic Management Team. Please note that the Finance Minister under whose leadership that good performance took place, including massive unprecedented debt relief, is still Finance Minister today. But thorough examination of the facts on performance under the Jonathan Administration will also reveal that at a time when global economic performance was mediocre, with GDP growth averaging about 3 percent per annum, Nigeria’s GDP growth – averaging about 6 percent per annum – is indeed remarkable. Even more interesting is the fact that the oil sector did not drive this economic performance but the non-oil sector (Agriculture, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, the Creative Economy, and so on), which shows that the current Administration’s diversification objective under the Transformation Agenda is working. Transformation equals diversification

  1. This current government managed to control inflation, which he Soludo, was not able to do during his time at the helm of monetary policy in Nigeria. When he left the Central Bank in 2009, inflation – which hurts the poor and vulnerable in the society the most – was above 13 percent per annum.  Now, inflation is at single-digit, at 8 percent per annum. What about exchange rates? Well this administration again managed to stabilize the naira exchange rates, such that between May 2011 and the end of 2014, official exchange rates against the dollar rarely moved out of the N153 to N156 band. It is only with the recent dramatic fall in oil prices and the consequent impact on our foreign reserves that the exchange rate has become quite volatile. The drop in oil price has been heavy and rapid impacting all oil producing nations significantly. Nigeria is no exception and appropriate fiscal and monetary policy measures are being put in place to manage this situation.

  1. In fact, history will recall that careless remarks by Prof. Soludo (then Chief Economic Adviser to the President) hypothesizing a possible naira devaluation, condemned the naira to a free fall towards the end of 2003. Ray Echebiri, in his 2004 article in the Financial Standard, wrote that not even the assurances given by the then CBN Governor, Mr. Joseph Sanusi or President Obasanjo that any plans to devalue the naira existed only in the head of Professor Soludo could halt the fall of the naira from N128 to the dollar in the official market to about N140 between September and December 2003.

  1. It is true that our foreign reserve accumulation is less than what it should be but the reason for this has been fully given, not as excuses but simply as fact: lower oil production and crude oil theft along with the refusal to save in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) are the reasons. Contrary to what Soludo said, oil production under President Obasanjo was higher than current levels. Quantities produced averaged 2.4 million bdp, 2.22 million bpd, and 2.21 million bpd in 2005, 2006, and 2007 respectively but has declined now to between 1.95 and 2.21 million bdp due to vandalism of the pipelines and the resulting “shut-ins” to fix the problem. It is true that had production been at the previous levels and had there been willingness to save we would have had more money in the ECA and also in the reserves. But the overriding setback to savings is that the State Governors felt it was their constitutional right to share the money. Please recall that even as we speak the States have taken the Federal Government to the Supreme Court on this issue

  1. Soludo’s claim that 71 percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line is misleading and disingenuous. He uses 2011 statistics on poverty by the NBS to support his argument while ignoring more recent figures. But as stated in the Nigeria Economic Report 2014 by the World Bank, poverty rate in Nigeria has dropped from 35.2 percent of population in 2010/2011 to 33.1 percent in 2012/2013. By the way, the reason why our poverty numbers have been so wrong is that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), under Soludo’s supervision as CEA and Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission, departed from the international standard method of poverty measurement. Is he now ignoring the right economic statistics to wilfully manipulate information?

  1. No doubt we have a problem with unemployment in this country and we must deal with it. Indeed this Administration is dealing with it and stands proud of what it has accomplished so far and is pushing hard to accomplish much more. As a first step, the Administration, through the office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and the NBS, worked hard to determine how many jobs we need to create in a year. What you don’t measure you cannot make progress on. Why didn’t Soludo do this when he was CEA?

  1. We need to create about 1.8 million jobs a year in this country to cater for the new entrants into the labour market, but we also need to deal with the backlog of the unemployed and the underemployed, e.g. those selling on the streets. Dealing with this global challenge of unemployment is not an easy task for any country, as can be seen from the experiences of developed countries particularly in the euro area. But the Jonathan Administration is making good progress, creating an average of about 1.4 million jobs per year by driving quality growth in key sectors like Agriculture, where the bulk of new jobs are being created, Housing, Manufacturing, Financial Services, and the Creative Industries like Nollywood.

  1. In addition we have special programs to promote job creation among the youth and these include:

v Promoting entrepreneurship among the youth through the “Nagropreneurs” program to support 750,000 youth farmers with grants and training, and the YOUWIN program that is directly supporting up to 5,400 young entrepreneurs with grants, training, and mentorship and so far beneficiaries are creating an average of 9 jobs each, for themselves and others. About 22,000 jobs have been created by the first 2,400 youwinners.

v Graduate Internship Scheme: that is reducing the vulnerability of unemployed graduates by enhancing their employability. The Scheme targets up to 50,000 unemployed graduates in the 36 states of the Federation and FCT and about 22,000 graduates have so far been placed by the program.

v Community Services Scheme under SURE-P: developed to empower young unskilled Nigerians, women and people with disabilities. About 120,000 mostly young workers have been engaged across the country

  1. On the issue of debt, Nigerians deserve to know the truth and we have said it before. The truth is that the government borrowed in 2010 to pay an unprecedented 53.7 percent wage increase to all categories of federal employees as demanded by labour unions.  The total wage bill rose from N857 billion in 2009 to about N1.4 trillion in 2010, and as a result, domestic borrowing increased from N200 billion in 2007 to about N1.1 trillion in 2010 to meet the wage payments. Where was Soludo at the time? Why did he not react to the borrowing then? Was it because he wanted to pander to labour in preparation for his political career?

  1. It is noteworthy that since 2011, the Administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been prudent with the issue of debt and borrowing. The Economic Management Team not only looks at debt to GDP ratio, where Nigeria has one of the lowest numbers in the world at 12.51 percent but it looks at debt service to revenues. That is why in spite of the rebasing and a larger GDP, the administration has taken a prudent approach to borrowing. The prudent approach helped to drive down domestic borrowing from N1.1 trillion in 2010 to N642 billion in 2014. In fact for the first time in our nation’s borrowing history we even managed to retire N75 billion of domestic bonds outright in 2013.

  1. Despite the present tough situation, we do not plan to go on a borrowing spree but to keep borrowing modest at a level sufficient to help us weather the present situation. We have already ramped up efforts to generate more non-oil revenues for the government while cutting costs of governance.Therefore, Soludo’s claim that this Administration is reckless with debt does not hold true.

  1. Since Soludo seems so ignorant to what has been achieved by the Jonathan Administration, let us present just a few examples of them here again. This information is easily verified.

  • We are improving infrastructure across the country. For example, 22 airport terminals are being refurbished, and five new international airport terminals under construction in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja, and Enugu. Soludo’s kinsmen in the South East now have an international airport in Enugu, and for the first time in Nigeria’s history can fly direct from Enugu to anywhere in world for which they are very grateful to this Administration. But with Soludo being up in the air with his international travels, he has not touched ground in the Southeast to observe this development for himself.

 

  • Various road and bridge projects have either been completed or are under construction. Those completed include the Enugu – Abaliki road in Enugu/Ebonyi States, the Oturkpo – Oweto road in Benue State, the Benin – Ore – Shagamu highway, and the Abuja – Abaji – Lokoja dualization, and the Kano – Maiduguri dualization. The Lagos – Ibadan expressway and the Second Niger Bridge are under construction.

  • Rail from Lagos to Kano is now functional, as is parts of the rail link between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri. All these have brought transport costs down. We recognise that more needs to be done in the power sector, but bold steps (like the privatisation of the GENCOs and DISCOs) have been taken, and our gas infrastructure is being developed to power electricity generation

 

  • In Agriculture, over 6 million farmers now have access to inputs like fertilizers and seeds through an e-wallet system, which is more than the 403,222 that had access in 2011. Rice paddy production took off for the first time in our history, adding about 7 million MT to rice supply. An additional 1.3 million MT of Cassava has also been produced and as a result, the rate of food price increase has slowed considerably, according to the NBS.

 

  • In Housing, we have put in place a new wholesale mortgage provider – the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Corporation (NMRC) – to provide affordable mortgages to ordinary Nigerians, starting with those in the low-middle income bracket. This sector will help the economy grow as we tap it as an economic driver for the first time. Mortgage applications from 66,000 people are currently being processed and 23,000 have already received mortgage offers

 

  • Our Manufacturing sector is reviving with new automobile plants by Nissan, Toyota, etc. This is in addition to the backward integration policy in key sectors like petrochemical, sugar, textiles, agro processing and cement, which Nigeria is now producing 39,000 MT and exporting to the region.

 

  • The Creative sector is now a factor in our GDP, with Nollywood alone accounting for 1.4 percent, creating over 200,000 direct jobs and nearly 1 million indirect jobs. This is the first Administration to recognise its importance and support its further development with a grant program.

 

  • A new bank – the Development Bank of Nigeria – will soon be operational and this bank will help bridge the access to finance gap, which is a major constraint for the private sector especially SMEs. The bank will provide long-term (5 – 10 years) financing at affordable rates for the first time in our nation’s history.

 

  1. This is the path that the government has been on before this fall in oil prices. The response to the economic shock has been spelled out to the Nigerian public over and over again, and the Administration intends to focus on managing this crisis appropriately. This year will be difficult. To say anything less to Nigerians will be untruthful. It would have been better if there had been a bigger cushion of the Excess Crude Account to manage this situation but despite this the nation can rise to the challenge. More importantly, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Economic Management Team are seeing this as an opportunity to diversify the revenue sources of an already diversifying economy. In fact let me at this juncture use this opportunity to comment on Soludo’s appalling statement that rebasing brings no policy value. Rebasing has enabled us to better grasp the new diversified nature of our economy. This provides the basis for our present drive to support different sectors with appropriate policy instruments to enhance their development. Rebasing has also enabled the Administration to create the platform from which to drive our work on increasing non-oil revenues. These are areas of critical policy value.

  1. Soludo mentioned the issue of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, noting that this Administration has not been vocal or clear on its direction with this agreement. On the contrary, the Administration, particularly the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, has been clear on this issue but since Soludo has been in the air he probably has not been aware of this. Just recently, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment reiterated again to the corporate sector that Nigeria has not signed and does not propose to sign the EPA in its present form.

  1. The point is that this government has been pursuing the right economic policies, and its efforts have been acknowledged nationally and internationally. Let me say that there are objective ways to measure performance. There are international institutions globally accepted to do this. They have acknowledged this Administration’s good economic management up to the recent crisis and even now.

  1. We cannot go by someone’s subjective view, driven by bitterness and bile. We need to look to the truth and to professionalism. This is where Professor Soludo totally fails. For the other gratuitous, political, and personal attacks, we are sure that those mentioned will respond appropriately. It is a sad day for Nigeria and the economics profession that someone like Soludo, a former CBN governor should write such an article. If Soludo wants to regain respect, he should return to the path of professionalism. He certainly needs something to improve his image from that of someone whose sojourn into National Economic Management ended in disaster for the banking sector, his sojourn in politics, ended in overwhelming rejection by the electorate, and more recently, his sojourn abroad, has put him out of touch with the reality of the Nigerian economy.

Paul C Nwabuikwu – Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance

80 Comments

  1. ak

    January 28, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Oh so Soludo did a bad job right? And you want us to remember it right?

    But you want us to forget how grossly incompetent Jonathan has been over the last 6 years?
    You want us to forget how Jonathan has not added a single penny to federal reserves, but rather keeps on depleting it and borrowing more money?

    Do you also want us to forget how you removed the oil subsidy in the name of “better fiscal policy” but then you, madam iweala, could not explain to us where the money went and how it got missing?

    Maybe you are the bitter woman.. After all, your bid to become World Bank President failed miserably.

    • BJ

      January 29, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      You need to be able to address issues objectively. Look at the issues raised by Prof Soludo and the response offered by Madam Okonjo-Iweala. It is easy to see that Soludo’s article is ill-motivated.

    • Doniel Losky

      January 30, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      You have chosen to close your eyes to the change and that is why you lie to yourself. Would you rather that he leaves the subsidy as OBJ did to enrich some corrupt individuals that you are supporting? What do you know about the economics of the economy? You need to be informed. About what this administration has done. so search online for GEJ Achievements.

  2. Yinks

    January 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Who ever ties this woman’s head gears needs to be imprisoned. that’s all i got.

    • bruno

      January 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      are u kidding me. I love the way she ties her head gears. it is her signature. its so iconic. love it.

    • Mohammad

      January 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      ROFLMAO. Too funny!

    • ChristineL

      January 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      She obviously ties them herself. You need some industrial strength arrogance (like hers) to step out of your house looking like that.

    • Hian

      January 29, 2015 at 3:32 am

      Why are you like this. I am wheezing from laughing too much. Industrial strength arrogance???

    • Blossom

      January 29, 2015 at 9:43 am

      I second the motion! Like, “what the eff is that on her head”???

    • Martin Williams

      January 30, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Just as you and your insensitivity to the development and growth of the Nigerian cause should be imprisoned. You need help because you don’t know your left from right.

  3. ak

    January 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    All of them are the same…. Greedy greedy politicians trying to shout each other down rather than work for the good of the country they claim to serve

    • concerned

      February 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Ngozi! Ngozi! Ngozi! How many times did I call you? You are an icon: an intelligent, accomplished and very well educated woman. Biko, do not soil your reputation by making utterances that are beneath you.

  4. tosade

    January 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    this woman should take several seats Abeg

    tosintosade.blogspot.com

  5. @edDREAMZ

    January 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    This woman just made me loose all the respect i gat for her….. Nansance…..
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  6. I no send

    January 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    This is a different okonjo iweala we are seeing. from the one we knew during OBJs reign……i wonder what caused the change

    • TheRealist

      January 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      The response appears to be actually from the Minister’s “special Advisor” (the dude that used to write for The Guardian) rather than NOI herself – but no doubt with her approval.

  7. bruno

    January 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    dear nigerian male politicians, pls leave this woman alone. she will drag u to filth. she called soludo “irrelevant” LMFAO.

    many nigerian are intimidated and threaten by her and her huge achievements. every man wants to fight her, why?

    she will make a good vice president.

    • S

      January 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      I reject the vice president part with every religious head you can think of. For someone who adored this woman, heck, she was my role model, the level of shame this woman has given someone ehn? I can’t believe my dad used to show me articles about this woman to make me aspire for greatness. She soiled that good name she started with tey tey all for money. First it was forming docile during the subsidy wahala, to stammering during the oil money panel and trying to form saint, to that Bellanaija list of the richest Nigerian youth businesses where her kids owned #1 or 2. Seriously how much money is her writer son making from books or doctor children abroad. That is how they have shell companies for siphoning naija money. She keeps doing that GEJ thing where they act like “my hand no dey there o” but their own sef bad pass. See that panel video where she was stammering and saying she knows about the shell account but it isn’t in her name. I want to believe Bruno is always sarcastic about this (unless they are giving you your own share of the money) cause you can’t seriously think she is still an angel. It’s sad. At a point i realized that we should have just left her in world bank after her squabble with Obasanjo cause it seems like she came back with a vengeance. See Fayemi’s reply and compare it to hers and FFK, sad!

  8. Hugo

    January 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    The PDP cancer has got to be the deadliest ailment known to mankind. How come anybody remotely associated with that party tends to lose all decorum and self respect. Aunt Ngozi just made a mess of whatever was left of her reputation by that rejoinder. I read the Professor’s article along with responses if all the parties concerned. While Dr Fayemi acknowledged the facts as stated and calmly tackled the issues raised, Aunty Ngozi and that loudmouth Fani Kayode decided to murder the man’s character in typical PDP fashion. Little wonder governance in Nigeria is in the pits. God forbid bad thing!

  9. Mohammad

    January 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Really articulate response, but why were there no repercussions for his actions? Impunity at its worst! Then again, it could just be the typical mudslinging of election season.
    Now if we could only have erudite and insightful debates on how the presidential candidates intend to achieve all of their promises.

    • NaijaPikin

      January 28, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Please which articulate? Are we reading the same article?
      I got to point #10 and she had still not stated what Soludo said that was a lie. Just crying about his character and failed ambition to become governor and vp.

      Rubbish. This woman is a disgrace. She is one of the reasons I am afraid to move to naija. Even the sanest of folks will run mad when thrown into naija jungle. We have seen this woman go from being a role model to another PDP clueless mumu.

      I don tire

    • Mohammad

      January 29, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Oops! I see my irony was lost on you. There I was thinking the rest of my comment made my position clear.

    • NaijaPikin

      January 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      abeg no vex…. I saw the 1st part and confusion set it. Sarcasm noted 🙂

  10. TheRealist

    January 28, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Abeg, pass the popcorn…. This should be interesting. LMAO!

  11. Dee

    January 28, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    How unprofessional! She could have made her point without sounding like our celebs insulting one another. I used to hold this woman in high esteem, Shame . Truly association with questionable characters seems to rub off

  12. mrs chidukane

    January 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Very disappointing reply. She sounds just like one rofo rofo politician. I expected her to squarely address the issues raised, to reassure Nigerians, not start taking shots at him Doyin Okupe style. This means that all he said is true, what a pity. I have lost every respect I had for her. There must be so much filthy lucre that one cannot remain honest once you’re affiliated with the Presidency. . Anyway, like Oby Ezekwesili reminded me, what’s up with the forensic report on the missing $20 billion?

  13. NagosBigBoi

    January 28, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Madam NOI! Please I beg to differ! I used to respect you, but I am now extremely sad that someone with so much international acclaim has become a praise singer!
    Some things I took from your article:
    1. Both periods had the same finance minister and got different results. So the difference must be the presidents during that period. Conclusion: GEJ sucks in economic policy/management/execution
    2. You mention refusal/lack of willingness to save in the excess crude account by this administration. That has to be GEJ’s fault. You seem to try and blame the state governors for this, but the buck has to stop with GEJ.
    3. You so easily ascribe the crash of oil to “global phenomenon”, but blame Soludo for crash of 2008/2009. Pray tell, was there not a “global phenomenon” that also caused a crash in 2008? Ahhhh…trying to muddy the water now are we?
    4. On the GDP figures, Soludo was comparing nigeria to other oil producers when he talks of the 6% gdp. How come you are lumping all the countries in the world (including nations without mineral/oil exports)? Give us apples to apples comparison. No be only you get sense or PHD.
    5. You say that the exchange rate was stable for a 3 year period (2011 – 2014) out of the 6 years that GEJ has been at the helm. What about the other 3 years? Na 50% una dey take praise una self?
    6. On the revenue from oil sales you completely tried to dodge with big grammar. Based on you numbers the production dropped by 20% (from 2.5 to 2 million) between OBJ and GEJ. Yet the price went up 50% ($60 to $90) between OBJ and GEJ! Revenue = volume * price. OBJ revenue = $150 million. GEJ revenue = $180 million.
    7. You say that Soludo messed up NBS. Have you guys fixed it? If so, what number are they (NBS) now carrying for our poverty level? What is the corrected level from Soludo’s time?

    This na part 1. Make I go chop so I go get energy to write part 2.

    • southernbelle

      January 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      See for this comment ehnn, I go even cook for you. Na Rice and Gucci stew you wan chop? I shall make it a delicazy. School fees no waste for your head at all lol

    • hm

      January 28, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Am not holding brief for Ngozi, but you do realize that the Excess Crude Account is not in the constitution and I remember in 2012/2013 under Amaechi led NGF they asked that the money in the ECA be shared, they even took the government to court.
      So on that excess crude account the governors took the money. As for Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers state has only 3million people, and our budget (allocation + igr) is 3billion dollars a year, he has nothing to show for it , compare PH to Fashola’s Lagos with 21 million people and 2.5 billion dollars gdp, it is like light and day. I hope if Buhari wins he will prosecute that loud mouth Amaechi, good for nothing idiot, everybody in Ph is angry and hungry, He has not paid salaries for the past 8months, now he is talking about corruption. Why did OBJ remove his name as pdp gubernatorial candidate in 2007? They found 200 million dollars in his account as Speaker of Rivers State, he is incredibly corrupt, I would lose all respect for BUHARI if he becomes president and he fails to jail Amaechi for wasting almost 24 billion dollars in 8 years. That is the gdp of Ethiopia, the second most populated country in Africa with 100 million people. Your talking GEJ 20 billion dollars, Amaechi stole 24 billion dollars from Rivers people.

    • Hugo

      January 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Dude, wetin bring Amaechi into this matter? Methinks you should find an appropriate venue to vent and not come and derail this discourse.

    • EllesarisEllendil

      January 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Big Boi!!!!

  14. Thanks men bravo zulu!

    January 28, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    l hope lweala will read comments to to know what masses need.

  15. Deborah Didwell

    January 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    BN commenters, the masses?!!! That is the most hilarious comment I have read in a very very long while.

  16. NagosBigBoi

    January 28, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Madam NOI, make we continue.
    8. As per poverty level, you said world bank numbers are down from 35.2% to 33.1%. About a 2% drop! Wow, let us give GEJ the Nobel prize in economics! He has done a marvelous job in 6 years.
    9. What are the agric jobs that the so called entrepreneurs have created? Give us names of the companies. I am sure we will see that there is no sustainable job created. I recall how the NDDC used to “create jobs” by constructing drainage on the warri-PH road.
    10. You said that you guys have non-oil revenue sources, but you willfully omitted to say how much those sources have earned to date or what percentage of our revenue they constitute.
    11. You say you guys have reduced the cost of governance. How much have you saved to date?
    12. Infrastructure! My favorite topic! How is building international airport beneficial to the common man that does not have money to ride keke napep? It is great that the elite can now fly from Enugu to Jupiter in their private jets, but how has that helped the taxi driver or food seller at nkpor?
    13. Power! Yay! Privatization has taken place. We can now go and take libations to Bacchus with magnums of champagne. How additional capacity have those gencos and discos put into the national grid? GEJ has completely failed in this area. Even the Imiringi power station in Bayelsa that millions of naira has been spent installing transformers is still not able to generate a lick! And you wonder why his people are not happy with him.
    14. Rice paddy ko, paddy-paddy ni. Tell us how price of rice in the market has changed between 2010 and now. You have the statistics! Talk make shame catch all una.
    15. You have provided mortgages for 23,000 people! Hallelujah! Wait…..we have a population of 180 million of which ~1/3 (60 million) are adults. And you claim success? 4,000 per year he has been in office. E go betta. Btw: how much is the average mortgage they received?
    16. Nollywood started before GEJ (even before OBJ) so make we no discuss that matter! Thank you to GEJ administration for recognizing that it is important. I have also recognized that exercise is important, so I am responsible for the higher life expectancy of Nigerians.
    17. You talk about new bank for SME funding. How much are the ones we have now funding? How has it improved since GEJ? Numbers madam, numbers that is what we need.
    18. On rebasing, Soludo said it was not an achievement just a statistical exercise. You claim it has helped all una see clearer. Ok…for that we thank God! At least now una go see the gutter wey una Don carry we enter.
    19. Your argument on the EPA is a straw man. Soludo praised you guys in that one. He said that he was surprised that una nefa claim am as achievement.

    Madam, all in all it is sad that a woman like you with international gravitas and nigerian timber, iroko and obeche has been reduced to this by this incompetent president. It points to the danger that we face if we give him 4 more years for himself and his bacchanal buddies to reduce us to doddering idiots and zombies. Tufiakwa! God no go gree.

    • Uzo

      January 28, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Can I just say I am standing and screaming and clapping.

      We all need to tackle issues based on facts and figures and not emotions, tribal or religious sentiments or r following he who doles out the most money to fund your lifestyle (Okupe, FFK, Reno, Abati et al – If the shoe fits). I have said it over and over again to people around me: In any organization, there are job descriptions for all positions along with agreed targets and KPIs. These form the basis of appraisals which will lead to reward, promotion, sanctions as well as highlight areas for improvement on the side of the employee and the company. The president of any nation has a job description and KPIS. Elections – whether mid term or tenure deciding ones are meant to judge performance. Let us appraise Jonathan and his administration on key performance indicators: Power, Security, Education, Healthcare, The Economy. That is the bottom line. Remove all the fluff and distractions – THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE

    • mrs chidukane

      January 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Wow @Nagos Big Boi, standing ovation. This is why I come to BN. For the intelligent comments. You should just make these questions into an article and put it out there . This is awesome.

    • tunmi

      January 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Well done, well done, well done

    • ada nnewi

      January 28, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      I can’t stop clapping at your very sound analysis!!!

    • southernbelle

      January 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      I support your ministry.

    • Hian

      January 29, 2015 at 3:37 am

      Look NagosBigBoi…MARRY ME NOW!

  17. Someone Naughty

    January 28, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    *weeps* Okonjo-Iweala sold her soul. She should have turned her back to the politics. Her World Bank peers wouldn’t be very pleased

  18. Someone Naughty

    January 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Harakiri! Okay let’s go! …Higi haga

  19. Someone Naughty

    January 28, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Since that awkward moment with the CNN reporter regarding the Chibok incident, na side eye I dey use look am

  20. Bela20

    January 28, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Makes one wonder if this is a premeditated attack on Charles Soludo. I never liked that Okonjo woman self. Hian!

  21. Deemah

    January 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Such a disappointing response! The central issues in Soludo’s article were not properly addressed, she just sounds angry and super-defensive. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, I am disappointed!! You should have sat down, unwrapped your headtie, taken some Panadol or something to cool your head before composing the sort of eloquent, fact-driven and well-reasoned response we would expect from someone like you. Alas, this just lends credibility to those who say that working in GEJ’s government has made you inefficient, unimpressive and tending towards mediocre.

    • Dr. N

      January 28, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Unwrapped her headtie? I cant….I just can’t. Hahaha!

  22. Jide

    January 28, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Madam, in case you just woke up, you are an abysmal failure and many of us that cherished you during Obasanjos regime now are very ashamed of you. Tell me one thing that Soludo wrote that was wrong? Just name one thing? Soludo never call you names, he raised a very vital economic issue and questions to both the PDP and the APC, and here you come to jump wagon like your likes of Okupe, FFK, Abati and Omokri. You would have made an economic and mathematical counter argument on the issues raised by Soludo. Let me just ask you Madam big eye,

    1. is our 20 billion dollars missing? what did you do? where are the reports you promised will be released soonest?
    2. What happened to the Abachas loot that was returned to the country? didn’t you get your own share?
    3. Didn’t you cosign 500 Million Dollars for Stella Odua, why?
    4. Where is the subsidy savings and our foreign reserves?
    5. The Excess crude account is nothing to write home about now, but each time a governor brings it up, you quickly send you armies to counter argue, you know nothing.

    I can go on and on, but trust me, truth will be out soon on many launders you guys did at that villa and trust me, you must serve the required jail term for it.

  23. Uwanna

    January 28, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Madam Finance Minister, i read through your submission and was waiting to see where you proved Soludo wrong on all the economic and fiscal policy issues he raises, so you have joined the bandwagon of Okupe and FFK, for somebody of your calibre, its a shame really, a big shame

  24. Dotun

    January 28, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    and please Ngo-baby, if you have still have any credibility left just release the NNPC forensic audit report which you claimed will be released by Nov,2014 or resign and go back to your urban morphology.All you did was to propose economics on theories. I’m pretty sure world bank won’t take you back cos all your trials and error economics are just garbage. Idiot

  25. InnocentByStander

    January 28, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Unfortunately, she will probably read the responses from other blogs where one half of the comments are about the article being too long while the other half are about money giveaways. The sad fact is that someday some of these people will become our country’s leaders. Still we wonder where the rot in our society came from.

  26. Ijeoma Nwaka

    January 28, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Madam NOI, chineke ekwele ngwere gbaaa aji, you of all people, a shameless you that awared contracts to your brothers and their companies worth billions, madam remember we know you very well, you know my Father and he knows you pretty well to know that you are fraud. Obasanjo contained your nonsense, Jonathan feared your nonsense and gave you all the way to do whatever you wanted and you ran the economy free for all. Remember the Abacha loot that was returned, you are among the people within the hierarchy of the Villa that got a share from the loot and Abachas son was asked to go home and sin no more??????? Wait, we will publish your epistle hence you know who a liar is, we will make you the real liar here for Nigerians and the intl community to see, what a nonsense. You are a failure

    • Jide, Uwanna, Dotun, Ijeoma Nwaka,

      January 29, 2015 at 1:35 am

      Jide, Uwanna, Dotun and Ijeoma Nwaka, One person with different personalities! Your ashiri don tu! Stop using different names, we know you are the same person! Got ya!!!!

  27. Chika

    January 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Well said @Nagosbigboi she also said Charles Soludo messed up the banking sector and his successor whom she was too ashamed to mention cleaned it up. That successor was mallam sanusi and note how she and her paymasters removed him from office with ignominy and sold the central bank and albeit the banking sector to Jim Ovia through his proxy Emefiele. I don’t know what she is disputing when they devaluing of the naira has already started without any official broadcast. For your information, the cbn sold dollar last week at 169.68 naira to the dollar. Today the same cbn sold dollar at the official market at 191.10 naira to the dollar. Can somebody explain the percentage depreciation that is. Charles Soludo spoke with figures, we didn’t expect any less from anybody who dared to challenge him. You madam and the administration you represent has midwifed our economy into a doldrum, we are determined to take back our life and our country. And that we must do through the ballot box come 14th February. We can not be hoodwinked otherwise. God forbid

  28. tim

    January 28, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    This woman needs to go and hug the nearest Transformet or NEPA pole. She is full of shit and has done nothing in the last 4yrs. She can do the honourable thing and resign if she feels the present Govt has not yielded her advise. In truth, she is just book-smart without being street-smart am thoroughly dispaointed in her performance as Minister of Finance, cos i used to admire her. Total failure she is!!!!

  29. NNENNE

    January 28, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    My role model.
    I hope to meet her someday.

    • Nneka Ofoma

      January 29, 2015 at 4:42 am

      then you have to drink from the toilet if this scum is your role model

  30. Fizz

    January 28, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Less words more action.

  31. Nneka Ofoma

    January 29, 2015 at 4:39 am

    I am ignorant of Jonathan achievements too but conscious aware and witness his incompetency lo lead Nigeria in the right direction Okonjo that could not pass World bank job interview is been celebrated in Zoological gardens called Nigeria .it is a pity that NOI is such a scum and an idiot

  32. Bella23

    January 29, 2015 at 4:52 am

    @NagosBigBoi This would be my first comment here on BN- Oh you do amaze me with your low level and under-researched over-typed statement. Oga Finance, as much as i would have loved to help you narrow down your low level of assessment on this topic that is clearly above your reasoning, i will just stop at this. Obama the President of the free world was able to lower unemployment level only by 5% and even with US economy doing well, Americans are still saying he’s the worst President in American history (Yeah, he was expected to perform some magic to clean up the mess Bush left behind with just a wave of his hands in the air).
    Human’s problem: when we don’t like someone everything regarding to that person is tagged with every negative accent that exist on this planet.
    Nigerians problem: Lack of patience, we always want it now, now or never. This big problem is why more of our youths have turn to yahoo yahoo and ritual-moneymaking. Even if Buhari and his clan(s) take power, this change will not happen over night.

    On Nollywood: only a liar and cheat will not give credit to GED for the growth in that industry.

    I’m not a GED fan, but i will still give credits where they are due! So maybe someday when you crawl or fly to the white house as Nigerian President ( see i wish you well) please come along with your magic wand, because you sure will be needing it .

    • Nonsochukwu

      January 29, 2015 at 9:17 am

      So what point have you made from this long epistle. the guy quoted numbers and facts and you simply went the way of others with your argumentum ad hominem (attacking the person). Argue based on facts and figures and leave the attacks to the touts @ oshodi

    • Deemah

      January 29, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Who is GED???

    • NagosBigBoi

      January 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      I think you are confusing unemployment rate with poverty rate.
      On poverty rate I like to compare Brazil with nigeria. Lula did an amazing job with their poverty levels. GEJ’s economic team knows what Lula did, but they need someone that can support their recommendations. GEJ is incapable of grasping the issues talk less of the nuances involved.
      Brazil should be a benchmark for the time frame we can expect to fix the problem. Here are the comparisons:
      Nigeria: 180 million people, 2 to 2.5 million barrels oil per day
      Brazil: 200 million people, 2 to 2.5 million barrels oil per day

      2013 Poverty levels: from the same world bank
      Nigeria: 33.1%
      Brazil: 8.9%

      I have tried to find something that has changed because of GEJ’s policies. And honestly I cannot find anything substantive. I remain open to being shown something substantive.

  33. Jefka

    January 29, 2015 at 7:09 am

    i read through and i didnt find anything useful. Come 14feb…..May the Best Man win.
    i am not voting, because it is valentine’s day, as a devout catholic, i will go to churc and pray to saint valentine to strengthen my luv for my country then, go to ajah market and buy ingredients for ofe akwu and pounded yam,
    after cooking, i will turn on my generator (which i should hopefully have purchased by God’s grace) and then tune to NTA plus to watch the voting process.
    you are all invited.

    • mrs chidukane

      January 29, 2015 at 11:19 am

      @Jefka, I just laughed out really loud at your entire comment!

    • niola

      January 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      lolll, pls naaa vote, abi dont you want to be we watching election process with PHCN not generator, my dear abeg watch channels instead o for unbiased commentary, u know say NTA na government station

  34. coke

    January 29, 2015 at 9:43 am

    The gangster b* was never really clean, one has proof that she has been laundering money out of Nigeria since forever.

  35. Yes?

    January 29, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Bunch of shameless people!

  36. neepeee

    January 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Some people are just clouded by self hate and foolishness.. Okonjo Iweala just layed down facts. Soludo acttacked her person by saying Gej had incompetent workers. Of course who was je referring to? Or nai boi did you skip that part in soludo’s right up?
    I tot souldo’s right up was insightful. But she just cleared and answered the questions. For soludo being the reason of job loss 2010.. That isn’t difficult to understand. Remember the purge in the banking sector? Was due to soludo’s bad policies. So she is very right to call him out on that. Aside the foreign reserve he spoke about which is true and the fact that nigeria can’t be transformed over night. All others have been countered by Ngozi’s response. Did I say I disagree with soludo saying the private industries wouldn’t provide the jobs we need. They. Will if government provides enabling environment. The truth is there would have to be cut down in civil service for us to thrive in other sectors and still borrow money to diversify into other sectors. It will take a while but they definately would be light in the future before then we have to go through these darkness…
    Mr Gej please sort out corruption and insecurity that’s were you have failed or failing.

  37. niola

    January 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    In all of this my fellow countrymen and women, please tolerate the hardship in obtaining your PVC’s and vote these jokers out and let us get a breath of fresh air…yesterday night guys, i thought so hard about my country and i actually wept so hard, the deteriorating state of the economy is appalling

  38. Fasa

    January 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Totally disappointing from a woman previously held in high esteem. Power (+ money, position etc) again has corrupted a la Reu, Doyeen, Kema Chk etc

  39. Patrick

    January 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    The ever hardworking Madam Ngozi. Never mind Soludo is probably planning to come back into politics

  40. Shaanu

    January 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    The minister has laid the facts straight but critics would of course deny the understanding of it. You see…in the life you’ll always see what you chose to see. I’m not surprised at these politicized, sponsored blindfolds in the name of comments.

  41. Fati

    January 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    We must beging to see things from an unbiased perspective.. The timing of Soludo’s response was flawed. He should have known better. We know that it was as a result of bad belle that this article was written.

  42. Fati

    January 30, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    There is no basis for clashing. NOI responded in a clear manner to the tirade of Prof. Soludo. Any unbiased reader of the rejoinder will see that it was clearly a factual response without any malice.

  43. Olumide Abass

    January 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    What can be more factual than that it is rather Charles Soludo who is the very self-centred, relevance-seeking, embittered loser. This is in no way a defamation of the former CBN governor’s person as his statements clearly reveal these flaws. The Federal government was spot on here.

  44. vashti

    January 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    sad sad sad sad sad sad …CME??? Stop. Gosh did you have to?? I am well informed on the EPA debate. Yes Nigeria is not prepared for an EPA because of Governments failure to develop its industries and provide the enabling environment so that Nigerian goods can be competitive with those of the EU. Finance and Trade Ministries have been involved in these negotiations since GEJs administration and still yet Nigeria hasn’t been clear on its position. They attend negotiations say one thing and go back and do the opposite. They also keep saying that they are consulting with stakeholders. Your Government is even clueless on what position to take and saying that Nigeria wont sign EPAs in its present form is a Slogan that past Governments have used and NOT because of GEJs present administration efforts.

  45. Onah Hilvenson

    January 30, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    What do want soludo, it is so obvious that there is a political undertune to what you’re saying. It is better that you come out open and say to Buhari that you want a ministerial position if he ever becomes President that play the game of hide and seek.

  46. Wilson Onahere

    January 30, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    What else can Soludo be, if not the right name that Madam Iweala called her, an embittered looser? Soludo who I thought would be hiding in shame came out contest for governorship position, it didn’t work. Now he wants to do “try your luck” whether he will be considered into Buhari’s government. Any way Buhari will never be the President of Nigeria.

  47. shaanu

    January 30, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Some cynics here on this platform are asking for the Minister to reply Soludo’s fictitious, self-serving statistics. But what the point doing that when the former chief economic adviser in his analyses of the numbers, could not manage a little bit of sincerity and judge based on the prevailing global economic realities. If he had any iota of sincerity, he would have absolved the current managers of our economy of incompetence. If indeed he wasn’t just an erudite by title alone (and i doubt he is an erudite at all), he should have understood that there are a couple variables that are not consistent with what obtained in the time he was in government. He has failed to tinker with all the changed variables due to prejudice.

  48. Adejumoke Adelaja

    January 31, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Prof. Charles Soludo, kindly desist from self-seeking aggrandizement. You presided over the worst mismanagement of the banking sector, therefore you have no moral grounds to point accusing fingers at the finance minister. Rather than applaud her for a job well done, you just go on destructive criticism which has never been known to solve any problem not even the slightest.

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