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Jonathan’s Administration had “Zero Political Will” to Save but Obasanjo did – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala



okonjo-iweala_0Two time Minister of Finance, and former Vice President and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that the lack of political will to save by the Goodluck Jonathan administration is responsible for the economic hardships that the country is facing.

Speaking at George Washington University, Okonjo-Iweala said that Nigeria was able to save $22 billion dollars during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration that saved the country during the 2008 economic crisis because there was the political will to do it.

“In my second time as a finance minister, from 2011 to 2015, we had the instrument, we had the means, we had done it before, but zero political will. So we were not able to save when we should have. That is why you find that Nigeria is now in the situation it is in. Along with so many other countries.” she said.

The Lazard Special Advisor said that African countries need to devise tools and mechanisms to boost economic resilience; these tools and mechanisms, she said, should be accommodated in the constitution or separated from political manipulation “so that these countries can survive over time.”

Credit: TheCable


  1. isaid!!

    April 15, 2016 at 10:57 am

    So madam Ngo, you just sat down and allowed all the hard work you did in the previous admin. slowly go down the drain. Just like that ?!!!!! This has to be one of the stupid comment i ever heard.

    • Pat

      April 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Not much she could have done (except resign) if after trying hard to convince her boss to save, he was not willing to take her advice. Maybe in her mind, between staying on (and watching the treasury go down the drain) and resigning (and being replaced by a yes-person), staying on and doing whatever little she could was the better option. I think it was a bad decision, I think she should have resigned and retained her legacy, but I guess it’s easy to judge when you’re not in the hot seat.

  2. isaid!!

    April 15, 2016 at 10:58 am

    * most stupid comment*

  3. GistYinka

    April 15, 2016 at 11:13 am

    I think Ngozi is looking for appointment in Buhari’s cabinet.

  4. Las

    April 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Aunty, please, it’s ok. Let those of us who respect you for what you did to settle the London and Paris Clubs during OBJ’s administration retain the admiration we have for you. Please.

  5. LEM

    April 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

    But madam, you were part of that administration too naw and we did not hear all this criticisms then.

  6. Dumebi

    April 15, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I thought Buhari is the cause of the economic hardship….slowly the truth shall be revealed. Can the pink nene come out and defend your mentor

    • nene+

      April 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Only a daft person will take a one sentence or paragraph of a whole write up.

      She has said so before and we have all heard how your APC Amaechi and Saraki dragged the Federal Govt to court to enable them share moneys. Haven’t you?

      Wake up madams calling nene+, didn’t your Buhari give loans to same governors who shared the funds?

      Please please Buhari should sought himself with all the good policies he met on ground like the TSA, BVN from his recovers loots.

      If Ngozi is dancing to Buhari tune i care less and will not take this statement literally. She will soon debunk it or clarify herself. I wont swim in your river of propaganda.

    • lax

      April 15, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      E ya cray cray Nene so you are not daft as to consider this whole write up a propaganda……Awww sorry for you. You must have been present when our amechi and our saraki wa sharing money and u were unavoidably absent when mama peace and your good luck was depleting our foreign reserve….what a shame

    • hehehe

      April 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      hope you’ve not started pulling your hair out yet, nene+
      **biased tribalised human being, what a joker madam “Omotola and her husband HAS lived together for 20 years”.

    • nene+

      April 15, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      hehehehehehe i laugh at your idiocy!
      I sincerely don’t have time for an unknown rat called hehehehe. Is that a name?
      Go back and read my correction or creep back into your dark abode.

    • hehehe

      April 15, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Nene, you mean “your correction” after someone pointed it out to you. Better pick up a grammer book and use your time properly instead of defending thieves online. See her mouth like rat hehehehe

    • nene+

      April 15, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Nene+ must be giving you insomnia! Epele. Your jealousy for me knows no bound. Sorry I cant help foolish minds.

  7. PP

    April 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Nene+ please get in here!!!

  8. 'Deola

    April 15, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Statements like this one makes Nigeria very perplexing at times. This does not makes any sense. Ngozi has just said she was more effective when she had less powers as a minister of finance than when she was a coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance combined.Now we are being told Obasanjo, a military man without a PHD had more political will than Jonathan, our PHD president. I see .

    I get it now, It appears everyone in and out of government is confused. Abati mentioned somewhere that the real problem is the civil servant. Now this Ngozi woman is now saying it is political will that is the real problem. How do we fathom a way forward when we have confused people and complicating problems of tribalism.

  9. nnenne

    April 15, 2016 at 11:58 am

    “Political will.”
    My understanding of that seems to be different from most people’s.
    Was GEJ fully accepted as ” one of us” by the special interest groups?
    Did he fall out of favour because he, after a while refused to be used as an read boy ?
    Did he get the support that Buhari is enjoying now , even when things are upside down?
    Remember, that people even protested when he suggested SUBSIDY!
    Was some group against him, because they felt, their group was not part of the core of his government , which for once has not happened in Nigerian history.
    How supportive were his political colleagues like the legislators and governors?
    In a presidential system of government, he sure needed their approval sometimes to put certain processes in place.
    “Political will could mean lack of support and a lot more .
    Am one of those who believe that he was treated unfairly!

    • Pat

      April 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Very fair point! She may actually not be referrig to her former boss but to the PDP system, legislators, governors and other powers-that-be. Thanks for the insight!

    • 'Deola

      April 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      It should not be your understanding of political will, if that is how you cherry pick definitions for discussion there would be confusion.

      Political will as defined when you google :

      “Political will” refers to the fact that when passing any law there may be some political cost as the law may upset some people and please others. “Political will” refers to that collective amount of political benefits and costs that would result from the passage of any given law.

      What it means really is that Jonathan was unwilling to damn the consequence in order to do what was right. Arguing in this manner does not mean prefer Obasanjo or Buhari o! Personally, I just think we have psychological problems in Nigeria.

    • chichi

      April 15, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks for clarifying Deola

    • Non-rabid.

      April 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      @deola, it is always beneficial to know what those “consequences”” are or will be, in each specific case, before the possibility and viability of “”damning”” them can be properly/fairly adjudged.

      Did Jonathan have the same support Buhari does?
      Could Jonathan call on the same backup, along religious lines, institutionally (military), politically, ethnically, nationally, internationally (including along religious lines), that Buhari can?

      Did he have the same armoury and weapons to fight with and as a defence against those “”consequences””, as most of Nigeria’s former rulers, specifically those from the military had and have? And by weapons and defenses, specifically: secrets i.e. knowing his enemies secrets and being able to provide evidence; knowing where all or enough of the skeletons are buried. You think the reason IBB, Obj, Buhari and even other military personnel who weren’t heads of state or president but held positions of power have not been taken to the courts to go through what the Abachas have been going through is because none of their successors/colleagues wanted to do so? No, it is (among other reasons) because they hold/know each other’s secrets.

      You have, I dare say, never been to the Villa. Never had to work in government and walk along those exalted corridors of power. Neither have I yet. If, however, you ever get the opportunity to have any of those who have, share openly with you some of the things that REALLY happen there, the kind of life or death power plays and struggles, the for real threats, not just to one’s job, career, reputation or life but to one’s spouse, children, parents, loved ones, and even community by powerful interest groups or persons who do have the wherewithal and even sometimes track record (openly or whispered of what they threaten) and the ”will”.

      Sometimes, the threats’ and their effects (to reputation, career, life, family) are not even contained to the national stage only.

      Please, as @Pat already said, it’s easy to judge when you’re not in the hot seat.

      @Nnenne put forward very salient observations and questions. Acquiescing to their rightful credence does not translate to automatic approval of ex-president Jonathan’s government. It just shows intelligence, rationality, fairness and balance.

    • Strit Kredibility

      April 15, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      i empathize with people who try so hard to rationalize the F9 of GEJ administration. His case was a result of Peter’s principle; elevated beyond his level of competence. A man cannot give what he does not have. He did nothing noteworthy as DepGov, and Gov of Bayelsa State. Even as VP it was common knowledge Obasanjo put him there to work hard and do nothing. It would have been surprising if he did something. GEJ was like that guy in campus (someone we would have all come across) who laughs at everything and stand for nothing. Even girls will overlook him as an seriousness person and go for the serious ones. It would have been out of character if he did anything unexpected and by so doing he would have won the respect of many of us the same way eminent and patriotic Nigerians left no stone un-turned to make him ascend to presidency when Turai and cabals were fiddling. Okonjo is also stating the obvious here

    • Mz_danielz

      April 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

      And Buhari is not elevated beyond his level of human reasoning? Sycophancy and Nigeria. This has got to be the worst period for Nigerians and yet people are defending Buhari.

      Power generation increased
      Real change in the agricultural sector
      Increase In msmes
      Female inclusion in government
      Our GDP
      Respect for the rule of law; the governors won a court case against the man peeps. Should he have ignored a court ruling? We are a democracy for Gods sake
      Yet because one incompetent Buffon took over power and in his cluelessness decides to blame the past government telling Nigerians what they want to hear, we won’t let GEJ sleep.

      It’s one year already and we are still referring to GEJ. If he’s still causing all this conversation, he’s a boss man.

      Obama inherited lots of challenges, we didn’t hear him accusing Bush upandan

    • Rampage

      April 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Nnenne don’t be coy. Goodluck was known to be spendthrift. In fact when Amaechi noticed, he convinced GEJ to be sharing the Excess Crude Account money to the governors. That time Akpabio and Amaechi knew how to press Goodluck’s mumu button for him to start ‘shairin d money’. Hence the Nigeria Governor’s Forum was so hot then but it disappeared as soon as the money finished.

  10. nnenne

    April 15, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Meant, errand boy.***
    What about the governors who kicked against saving?
    We are castigating GEJ, but some of those governors are still serving in this regime and we still love them.
    Governor Shetima of BBOGS was voted back in office and he is still running the show in the North East. All the blame for the kidnapping of Chibok girls was thrown on GEJ. Really?
    Thanks governor Ambode, for looking for the kidnapped girls in your state!
    You showed us that governors do have responsibilities!!

  11. Brizola

    April 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    This post is upsetting especially from Bella Naija, you all must try to twist her words just to bring GEJ down. Especially my brothers from the south west. How they speak from both sides of their mouth. GEJ was willing to save but did he get support from everyone of you? Did he get support from the Lower house chaired by tambuwal? Did Amaechi, Oshiomole and Aregbesola not drag him to court? How is it his fault? He is a democratic president not an Autocratic Ruler. When he wanted to remove subsidy did NLC and co not occupy Lagos. Nigeria was shut down for two weeks. Don Jazzy and co occupied Lagos. The protest in Lagos was alarming. He had to rescind. Morons calling him weak, like we have it better with the corrupt free, know it all president with no blue print and direction. Is this the first time, oil prices have gone down? How do people see black and call it white, GEJ had it tough from the onset, opposition from party members, obj, boko haram, the south west, every Union or body went on strike just to discredit him. Is Nigeria less corrupt now? Are people not carting away stolen funds in Abuja? Do you know the amount of bribe PMB’s cronies are collecting to have his ear. You all just sit behind your computers to yarn dust just to sound ignorant. GEJ is just one man. Let’s forget about the past and face the future. I can’t remember Obama constantly ranting about bush and the recession, he found a solution to the problem. His economic team was top notch!!!

    • Las

      April 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      PMB is willing to fight corruption and not everyone is for it. In fact, I think in this battle he has more enemies than friends. I don’t see that stopping him, so saying GEJ was willing but had no support doesn’t speak well of him or his leadership abilities, which has always been the bone of contention.

      As the saying goes, if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

    • Funmi

      April 15, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      God will continue to increase your wisdom my dear.

    • Reverse

      April 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      Political witch hunting isn’t fighting corruption? How many corrupt APC politicians have been charged?

      Bella Naija, shame on you. Where in that entire writeup did she say Jonathan refused to save? Please can you highlight it. A lack of political will if you ever read up on this savings brouhaha means the governors fought them when they tried to save. The Governors forum took FG to court? What was Jonathan supposed to do? Lock them all up like strongman Buhari would have?

    • Mz_danielz

      April 16, 2016 at 9:03 am

      So who has he fought now. Is it by making lots of noise and keeping quiet when it seems the people are ready to talk.

      Who has he really arrested apart from Dasuki that miraculously didn’t appear in court.

      His anti corruption talk is a smoke screen oh.

      Tell Buhari to work Biko. I can’t be spending almost 20k to fuel my car and generator.

      Is it also GEJs fault that power generation has declined? He was incompetent yet Buhari can’t even keep things at the level he met them.

      A leader takes responsibility for everything. How you know GMB is a bad leader is his unwillingness to take responsibility, ignore the problems and move on.

      1 year Don Waka, we’re still talking about GEJ, one might even think he’s still the president

  12. jojo

    April 15, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Apparently many of you don’t actually read or you all became polically concious on the eve of the elections. Go and read up on How the Governors led by Amaechi and Fashola took the FG under Jonathan to Court to oppose thesaving of excess crude funds. Karma just came home very early, they thought they were doing GEJ, now they are the ones in power and the very savings they opposed is what they are moaning about.

  13. chichi

    April 15, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Nah nah nah..BN you guys need to do better…Nice try though! The ppl i feel sorry for are those that rely heavily on you guys for political news…You guys skip a lot of important articles and interviews and this post makes me feel like you guys do this deliberately.
    Ngozi had an interview with la monde just last week where she said the fight against corruption was at the root of the kidnap of her mom, with the abductors demanding her resignation. She also talked about why she couldnt save. Why didnt you post that interview BN? For those of you interested, this is what she said:
    “Some economists are very concerned for Nigeria, which could greatly suffer from the fall in oil prices. Others say the contrary, that its economy is strong enough to turn the corner.
    Both are right. But one thing saddens me. When I was finance minister the first time, the volatility of oil prices, and therefore state resources, cost at least three points of growth in the country.We then established a stabilisation mechanism and opened an account for the oil surplus, which posted up to $22 billion. In 2008, when prices fell from 148 to $ 38 a barrel, no one has heard of Nigeria because the country was able to tap into this fund. And that, I am very proud [of]. When I returned to the department in 2011, there remained only $4 billion on this account while the price of oil was very high! I tried again to put money aside. The president agreed, but the governors did not accept..I suffered a lot of attacks from them and now that the country would really need this account, these same people accuse me of not having saved! If Nigeria had been more careful, we would not be here today. It hurts me. We have the mechanism, we had the experience, but we were prevented to act.” Her words.
    That being said, i still blame Jonathan. You were surrounded by idiots doesnt mean you couldnt have found a way if you were really serious about saving. Its just funny how these same crooks turned out to be the agents of change…
    BN pls next time, just give us ALL the information we need. We dont need you interpreting for us.

    • Ndidi

      April 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      All this epistle on top wetin? Do you people have lives outside BN at all?! By the way chichi you claim BN does not give full political news so why are you not simply sticking to Guardian or Vanguard newspapers where you can get ALL your information? If she had insulted Buhari now, you go don begin clap hands say well done madam. Mschew.

    • Sam

      April 15, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      So what are you doing here too?

    • chichi

      April 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Epistle on top your head obviously. Its called copy and paste. If her response/interview is too long for you, Hunny , lighten your load and skip my comment. lol..I hope you’re alright?.
      No, i dont have a life outside BN. I live and breathe BN.. CLEARLY!!!
      Why i dont stick to guardian or Vanguard? uhh, cos chichi does what chichi wants? I thought that’s a given. im supposed to explain myself to you? lol.. Oh btw, i also use pointblanknews..really good too 😉
      I know you’re overwhelmed, so if you need tips on time management, lemme know so i can show u how some of us do it.
      Once again BN, since you have decided to give us political news, please go hard or go home.

    • FasholasLover

      April 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      @Chichi, you just made my day. Too many ignorant comments on what governance entail. I suggest everyone here read what R. Abati said about governance. Enough said. Nigerians contributed to the malaise bedevilling the country today. If you then add a clueless, very unprepared old man to the mix you should get the drift.
      Enough said.

    • 'Deola

      April 15, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      I must thank you too Chichi. If you were a dress and I was a girl , I would rock you to a ball. You really rock!!

  14. Nene

    April 15, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    But I’ve been saying this since. That’s why oga jona just allowed buhari to win. That nonsense president put us in this mess!

  15. Ijebujesha

    April 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Why do you news guys keep distorting information just because you know that most people are dumb and gullible enough to accept just about anything you feed them? Why? Honestly, Nigerian journalists are even worse than Nigerian politicians.Korokoro lies and you will still go ahead to publish it without batting an eyelid. I am done with this country!

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