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Okonjo-Iweala And The World Bank: Time For Divorce

05/02/12

Okonjo-Iweala And The World Bank: Time For Divorce

Permalink 06:14:00 am, by admin Email , 1177 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African Issue, Tellers and Global Viewers

*Okonjo-Iweala And The World Bank: Time For Divorce

-Masterweb Reports (Submission By Kali Gwegwe)

On the 15th of September, 2011; I posted a piece on my blog titled “Okonjo-Iweala: A Patriot Blinded by the West.” This piece was also published by some off and online media. I had attempted to highlight three major points. In the first place, I had wanted to drum home the point that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy has the passion and courage of a true patriot. The second point I wanted to establish was the fact that Okonjo-Iweala was an involuntary “apostle” of western democracies. Thirdly, I was of the opinion that western democracies can only use but never trust “apostles” like Okonjo-Iweala. The outcome of the election to select a replacement for the outgoing World Bank chief, Robert Zoellick has vindicated me. The withdrawal of Colombia’s former finance minister, Jose Antonio Ocampo from the World Bank presidential race was enough for Okonjo-Iweala to see the spirit of United States celebrating with bottles of champagne on the streets of Washington DC. Sentiment apart, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had a superior credential to occupy the World Bank presidency.

Typical of every vibrant and complex society, some applauded my candid opinion and others poured heaps of condemnation on my head. One fair point to note however is the fact that the criticisms that followed my piece had no capacity to change what was wrong to right. What was then wrong, if one must ask? It was wrong for Okonjo-Iweala to look at Africa with western eyes. While it is true that advancement in science and technology has compressed the world into a global village, we cannot stand on this truism to deny the fact that population, culture, and religion plays critical role in shaping the local economy of every society. Perhaps, owing to the fact that she was an “insider”, Okonjo-Iweala often times acted in manners that suggested she was too informed to accept contrary opinions- especially the ones dressed in the robes of criticism. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Photo Above: Nigeria Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Not only was the foundation of her campaign very shallow and stained with racial sentiments, she was undoubtedly a victim of her own characteristic arrogance. Right from the first day she came to work for the Nigerian government during the Obasanjo administration, Okonjo-Iweala has refused to accept the bitter fact that in economics, issues are isolated and treated on their individual merits. Only lazy people who do not believe in themselves will rely on the ideas of others without paying attention to associated evidences and facts. It would also not be fair for any person charged with managing the economy of a nation to rely only on old ideologies or viewpoints of political parties to design fiscal policies. What else can one expect from a World Bank apostle?

Not aware of the hidden agenda of her western mentors, Okonjo-Iweala was deliberately deceived into looking at Nigeria’s economic problems with “western eyes”. It was for this simple reason that she could not accept a fundamental truth spoken by even uneducated women in village markets: every society on the face of the earth has its peculiarities. Sadly, this was the very point her sole opponent and eventual winner of the World Bank presidential election on Monday 16th April, 2012; Jim Yong Kim used to sink her boat. Kim later revealed to the BBC that he would consider the cultural and social peculiarities of various regions to ensure that the Bank’s schemes achieved the desired results.

As part of efforts to successfully use both the IMF and World Bank to secure pole positions in global finance and economy, western democracies intentionally creates the false impression that population, poverty level, culture, and religion does not matter in designing fiscal policies. It was based on this false opinion that Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded the subsidy removal battle against the Nigerian masses. This was what I wrote on my blog: “It must be noted that every society has its own peculiarities. As a result of this, what has worked in country A may not necessarily work in country B. Africans wearing “western eyes” will never realize this fact even though it is profusely clear. For instance, the governor of Nigeria’s Central, Lamido Sanusi and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are all bitterly agitating for the removal of fuel subsidy simply because same has worked elsewhere in America and Europe. Since they are wearing “western eyes”, they have failed to realize that: (a) Unemployment figures are very low in America and Europe (b) An average American or European worker earn as much as $130 or N19,500 per day. With this kind of salary, Nigerians can afford to buy fuel even at N150 per liter.” ( Continues below….. )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria.

If after failing to win the confidence of her mentors, Okonjo-Iweala does not learn anything, repent, and jettison her World Bank “mentality”; President Goodluck Jonathan should waste no time to offload her. Industrialized western democracies have through her, succeeded in turning most Nigerian masses against the president owing to some non-aligning fiscal policies she introduced. We must not forget the fact that one of the veiled aims of the IMF and World Bank is to prescribe fiscal policies that will pitch the masses against governments of developing countries. This is to create crisis and give little or no room for political leaders to build their national economies and secure economic independence. Western nations are afraid that Africa securing economic independence will mean lesser exports and dwindling foreign exchange revenue. Is it not sad that Okonjo-Iweala suggested the removal of fuel subsidy as a sure way of fighting corruption in the nation’s oil sector? Is this how other countries fight corruption? Subsidy in itself is not a bad idea. Nations introduce subsidy to protect its citizens. As you read this, the EU subsidizes agriculture and fisheries and yet advice Nigerian government to withdraw fuel subsidy. This is not just ironic but suspicious. The fiscal policy of fuel subsidy removal is directly in conflict with the World Bank’s commitment to fighting poverty in developing countries. We are aware that the partial removal of fuel subsidy in January has expectedly jumped the prices of goods and services thereby weakening the purchasing power of a greater percentage of Nigerians. The direct consequence is increase in poverty level. Those that used N20,000 to meet the needs of their families now require about N40,000 or more to do same because the cost of transport, rent, food, education, and health care services have climbed up the ladder.

I have always maintained that just as there are many ways to kill a rat, there are also many ways to remove fuel subsidy. It is quite sad that Okonjo-Iweala preferred the option that will serve the parochial interest of her western mentors. We are no longer fools.

Kali Gwegwe
CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower
2, Greenvilla-Customs Link Road
Biogbolo-Epie
Yenagoa
Baelsa State
08064074810

Article Source: Masterweb Reports

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11 comments

Comment from: Ajoze Sumaila S. [Visitor] Email
Ajoze Sumaila S.I have read your beautiful write-up and agreed with your submission completely. The problem most westernized Africans have is that they believe that by spreading western gospel, whether truth or false, they would always continue curry favour in the good books of the west. The west is too clever, intelligent and wise for that. Otherwise, the western societies would not have survived two devastating world wars as well as decolonization, and still remain the most influential force in the world, despite its relative small population. Leaders in Africa are also not divorce from this mentality. They too believe that westernized Africans who wears and see issues through western spectacles understand better how to run the continent's economy. What an irony!
I am afraid,so long this trend continues, Africa will continue to stagnate.
05/02/12 @ 09:04
Comment from: crisdels- Chris Nnadede [Visitor]
crisdels-  Chris NnadedeObama could not have earned a college degree if there was not the 'PEL GRANT', - a subsidy for college fees, room and board.
Farmers in United States are paid not to produce milk, wheat, and others. Remember the USSR wheat embargo by Gimmy Carter!!
Even bus fares for Seniors in the State of California are subsidized 80% by the state, and come to talk about the massive social welfare that hands out cash of over $250 dollars plus equivalent amount of food stamps (food vouchers) to almost half the American population.
So what is wrong with gasoline welfarism in an abject poverty and directionless country called NIGERIA?
OKONJO IWEALA, NGOZI should dress herself properly in her Western gowns and quit fooling herself or the world with the facade of outfits of humble traditionalist. Great ideas coming from unknown Bayelsa, from wonderful Gwegwe. I loved reading from you.

05/02/12 @ 10:11
Comment from: Dr. Fortune Ukonu [Visitor]
Dr. Fortune UkonuIt is fundamentally obvious that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is unpatriotic because she fixated her ambition to be the world bank president despite the call of her motherland to serve. This is one calling any citizen of any country would forego anything to answer.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala deserved whatever she got from her campaign to head the world bank. The bible says that a true friend lays his life for his or her friend but to Dr Okonjo Iweala this was not the case. She puts herself first before her country. When citizens of other countries would climb down from their international positions just to answer the call to serve their nation.

This must be seen as selfishness on Ngozi's part. Can somebody tell Nigerians how such a person like Ngozi can deliver any goods as a Finance Minister of Nigeria or let somebody assure Nigerians that Ngozi would not again jesttison her position any time international position beckons.

Now, look at the humiliation and shame she brought upon herself and her country. Imagine after being the managing director of the bank and left it on her own accord and now wants to be the president. Can somebody tell Nigerians what exactly Nigeria would have benefitted for her being the president of the world bank than the image of herself and Nigeria.

Would it have been posible for her as world bank president to grant world bank loans to Nigeria if Nigeria does not qualify for it? The answer is capital No! because in the world bank, due process is strictly followed unlike Nigeria where anything goes. One local patriot Nigerians and Igbos in particular should always remember is Prof. Dora Akunyili then Minister of Information loved by President Jonathan and most Nigerians. This giant of a women left her federal ministerial appointment to contest as a senator just to serve the interest of her community. This counts.

What Nigerians should know about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is that she has not been a happy lady for losing the world bank contest. Tell Nigerians how such an unhappy person would do a better job at her present position she considers a second best. Some people in some countries would jump at any golden opportunity to serve their country no matter whatever position they are anywhere.

It is not out of order if Nigerians demand the President to relieve Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of her present post for fear of sabotaging the economy of Nigeria. One advice one should give Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is that 'If an ambitious person does not temper with care down the other side'.

If you want to be the next United Nations secretary general start from you country to prove yourself because it is from there they would see your good works and shower you with praises than opprobrium which you have suffered. There is no doubt of your academic qualities but look beyond that. Your country nominating you is one thing and Nigerians nominating you is another. May this serve as a lesson to other ambitious Nigerians.
05/02/12 @ 10:19
Comment from: Desola Adekunbo [Visitor]
Desola AdekunboIt is intellectual laziness for anyone to lay the blame of African woes on the doorstep of western societies. Was it the white man that plunder our commonwealth and loot the treasury?

The woes of Africa was caused by Africans and not by the West. It is time for us Africa to wake up and smell the coffee.

Before the coming of Dr. Iweala, the thrust of Nigeria's economy has no direction. The coming of Dr. Iweala has given it a definite direction. She deserves an applaud for that and not stone throwing!
05/02/12 @ 12:26
Comment from: Nad [Visitor]
NadYou have clear the air. African and other developing worlds need to wake up. some of the developing worlds that have realised the western polities have started growing eg. Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India, Korea etc. Nigeria need to think thesame and the present governmnet needs to go back to stato quo concerning the removal of subsidy by reverting to the old price while curruption is nailed down.
On Okonjo; the imporverish Nigerians are still looking at her and for (God)forgiveness of the present financial chaos
05/02/12 @ 13:01
Comment from: williams [Visitor]
williamsNigerians need brain replacement surgery for the economy to grow and prosper.
05/02/12 @ 13:46
Comment from: Leonard Ojimba [Visitor]
Leonard OjimbaDon't castigate Okonjo Iweala for Nigeria's woes. Blame our past corrupt leaders. The woman is a hero if indeed she was the one that spearheaded the removal of fuel subsidy. Can't you see the result? Many of oil thieves have been exposed unless Nigeria don't know how to deal with the thieves. Kudos to Okonjo Iweala.
05/03/12 @ 04:38
Comment from: Haruna Yakubu [Visitor]
Haruna YakubuI thank you so much for taking your time and explaining the need for African leaders to look at our problem based on our peculiar culture. Until African leaders wake up from their slumber just like the Asian continent and accept the fact that our destiny is in our hands we shall continue to be slaves to the western countries.

Nigerian leader please rise up and lift our beloved country from this doldrum.
05/03/12 @ 13:02
Comment from: muhammad lawal dodo [Visitor]
muhammad lawal dodoits unfortunate we always sectionalised issues of national intrest.madam okunjo contribution to world bank is not enough for her to be world bank president. Her economic policies can work only in a corrupt society like ours.but not in America and her friends.Madam the choise to leave is yours but for us your rejection by your mentors have shown what you worth.mr president please push her out of your cabinet.
05/04/12 @ 14:43
Comment from: Ilueme Chidi [Visitor] Email
Ilueme ChidiNigerians, which way forward? who is our problem? what is our problem? when did our problems started? where did our problems started from? where are we now? where are we going to? how long shall we continue in buck passing and making our problems more complex and unresolvable? my fellow Nigerians, let us be veracious and ponder a bit!!! Only with this, we can "synergically" panacea the chaos looming around this our country Nigeria instead of attacking one another. Thanks , for it is high time we shall put our hands on the "DECK" as one unit not as an individual. But be aware that " a river can not flow through the forest without falling down the trees". Ciao.
05/06/12 @ 05:46
Comment from: Thomas Coleman [Visitor]
Thomas ColemanYour way of explaining everything in this paragraph is in fact pleasant, all be able to
effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.
08/29/12 @ 08:33

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