Nigeria’s Minister for Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said the country’s economy is improving.
Okonjo-Iweala who appeared on CNN International’s nightly interview program Amanpour while in New York for Women in the World summit, said 2013 is a year Nigeria is going to produce results. She said macro-economic stability has been restored and Nigeria’s growth as at 2012 was 6.5% with projection for the same rate in 2013, compared to average of 5% on the African continent.
Okonjo-Iweala who was asked about the level of corruption in Nigeria and her take on the pardon granted former Bayelsa State governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan who was supposedly fighting corruption, the minister shied away from commenting on the pardon issue. She said however that “99% of Nigerians are honest, hardworking citizens who just want to get on with their lives and they want a government that delivers for them”.
She noted that if Nigeria will fight corruption successfully, electronic platforms have to be employed, and people should be distanced from money.
She also said oil theft is also one of the problems facing Nigeria. She blamed the international community for also patronizing oil thieves as she stated, they are in that way contributing to corruption in Nigeria.
“We are still a poor country. We can’t afford any leakage. We need international people who buy this stolen oil to treat it as stolen diamond, the blood diamonds…make it blood oil,” she said.
On the issue of power, Amanpour who wondered how a country so rich in oil still suffer a basic amenity like power, referred to an interview she had with President Jonathan when he was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Okonjo-Iweala said the polls in the month of the interview proved the President right when he said Nigerians were happy power had improved, as the polls showed 54% of Nigerians though there was improvement in power.
Okonjo-Iweala’s comment on power has left Nigerians posting several angry comments on social media sites as they say power has not improved, nor did they think she was right about saying 99% of Nigerians are honest.
How is power in your area? Do you agree that 99% of Nigerians are honest?