Tuesday, October 1, 2013

OPINION: Should Okonjo Iweala Resign?

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The Conference of National Political Parties (CNPP) has called on Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, to resign forthwith for deceiving President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary Osita Okechukwu, CNPP said it was outraged when Mr. Jonathan stated during his media chat last night how Dr Okonjo-Iweala brandished a World Bank Report which placed corruption in the 3rd or 4th position, after access to fund and infrastructure, as the key factors undermining Nigeria’s development.
“It is the considered view of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties {CNPP} that infrastructure deficit and poor access to fund are by-products of the monumental corruption going in the country,” the statement said.
“We challenge Dr Okonjo-Iweala to publish the said World Bank Report and resign; for we now know how inchoate and anti-people economic policy dished out by the two time Minister of Finance led to the failure and poor performance of ex-president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo regime and currently President Jonathan, adding there is no wonder the Nigeria Governors Forum called for her sack last week.
CNPP pointed out that it is trite that with the type of monumental corruption going on in the land for the past decade, in the midst of unprecedented Oil and Gas Revenue; gross infrastructure deficit, capital flight and poor access to fund was certain to be the ultimate outcome.
“CNPP is appalled that the Minister and others of her ilk exploit the kindness and gullible trust of Mr. President to fleece and milk our dear country dry.
“Otherwise, if not for corruption, what is the economic sense for a country to spend over $7 billion annually for importation of refined petroleum products; rather than building new refineries?”
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Conference said, has shown that $3 billion can build a 400,000-barrel per day capacity refinery in less than 3 years.
“CNPP goes further to ask, if not for corruption why have the Agege-Ota-Abeokuta, Lokoja-Abuja, Lokoja-Benin, Lagos-Benin, Lagos-Ibadan, Gombe-Maiduguri, Maiduguri-Kano, East-West, Port Harcourt-Enugu, Enugu-Onitsha and others roads not been completed? They were budgeted for year in and year out and government in its wisdom budgeted below prevailing market rate of oil price and yet uncompleted,” it said.
“If not for corruption, why didn’t the $16 billion spent on the power sector provide adequate electricity supply? If not for corruption, why is 75% cost of Zungeru Power on loan?”
It described as “uncountable” the examples of how corruption created gross infrastructure deficit, led to capital flight, devalued the Naira, poor access to fund, high interest rate, crippled social services, ASUU strike and Boko Haram are legion.
CNPP then called on Okonjo-Iweala to resign immediately for deceiving President Jonathan into believing that corruption is not the greatest of the cancers afflicting Nigeria, which must be stridently exorcised if we are to advance.
Only last week members of the Nigeria Governors Forum also asked Okonjo-Iweala to resign, citing bad economics.
Source: Sahara Reporters