Lagarde [President of the IMF] had nothing specific to say about which ideas she thinks are most important—much less what compromises might be required, much less which specific countries, companies, or people might have to suffer to reach those compromises. Her speech was worse than tiresome. It was almost Orwellian in its vacuity. By its end, I couldn’t tell if the head of the International Monetary Fund was as stupid as she seemed or merely pretending to be stupid because she believes we have no right to hear what she really thinks. I am not sure which would be worse”- Alex Berenson
Now that the wool has been uncovered from Nigerian’s eyes, can we now agree that the voodoo economics from Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her band of travelers are not suited for our country? Can we all agree never to hire anyone from the Bretton Woods institutions to shepherd our economy? I mean never! In case you didn’t hear me I meant NEVER!
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) made many unforced errors during his inglorious 6 year reign over Nigerians, and perhaps the most glaring was the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala as the de facto Prime Minister-Coordinating Minister on the economy. A position unknown to the Nigerian constitution and any extant laws or statutes.
Before her appointment she had worked as managing director of World Bank. During her first stint as Minister of Finance under President Olusegun Obasanjo she was known as Madam Due Process and rode on the crest of Nigeria’s negotiated debt repayment, an exercise meant to repay Wall Street and Paris club for buying junk dubious debts owed by Nigeria’s corrupt prior administration, at the detriment of infrastructure developments and services to the poor Nigerian masses.
Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, along with her sidekick Oby Ezekwesili, drew huge salaries unknown under Nigerian civil service rules and regulation. They convinced their bosses that they can fix Nigeria’s economy by subjecting it to IMF’s failed policies and sophistries. We know better now. In 6 years, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala ran Nigeria’s economy to the ground. She looked the other way while many of GEJ ministers loot the economy. Her bid to convince State Governors to hand her their statutory allocations were roundly rejected by the Governor’s forum—including those elected under PDP. That crisis contributed in large measure to the eventual loss of GEJ in last month Presidential election.
Under her tenure, salaries of political appointees exploded beyond the stratosphere. Politicians awarded themselves humongous benefits and emoluments while the poor masses suffered in silence. She is walking out the door with a vaunted claim of managing the highest GDP in Africa, even while Nigerians remain at the lowest nadir of poverty index worldwide. She and her boss celebrate the number of private leased jets packed at Nigeria’s airports by rich Nigerians, while millions of Nigerian civil servants are being owed more than 5 months of salaries.
Why should we continue to listen these Bretton Woods prognosticators? They have failed everywhere they have been, but unfortunately our leaders continue to turn to them for ideas and policy direction. One can only hope that Buhari will not take the bait and will stay away from World Bank and IMF personnel when he get’s to pick his own economic management team.