Friday, January 06, 2012

Okonjo Iweala, Architect of Fuel Subsidy Removal

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala threatens to resign if the president makes a detour on subsidy removal. Let her resign. The oil subsidy removal is her idea. She has brought world Bank and IMF mentality into the Nigerian economic system that does not comply with any known economic theory.
All existing economic theories are meanwhile failing in Europe where consumerism and a conflict between economics and politics have led to the occupy movement and sovereign debt crisis.
Jonathan did everything in his power to get her out of the world bank to join his cabinet as if out of over one hundred and sixty million Nigerians nobody could be a finance minister. What she failed to reason out while advising the president is that there is no social security in place in Nigeria. There is no unemployment benefit, no benefit for the elderly, no benefit for incapacitated people who can no longer earn any income, no benefit for unemployed single mothers and their children, no benefit for the blind and physically challenged and no compensation policy for victims of crime and negligence by the government. In effect, the oil subsidy was the only benefit enjoyed by Nigerians and now it has been denied them. This is the unkindest cut of all. If we are to vote in a referendum today to choose between Boko Haram and Jonathan's cabinet. Boko Haram will win by a landslide.
I had injury on both legs during the election and I went out with the injuries and drove over 10km to vote for Jonathan. I regret that with no apologies whatsoever.
The gains of the subsidy removal will not be felt overnight and certainly not in the next one year and will be jettisoned as we approach the next election. Why on earth did all the brains and advisers in the cabinet not think about a graded removal, 20% removal per year over five years? 20% removal in the first year, 40% in the second year, 60% in the third year, 80% in the 4th year and 100% in the fifth year? That would have given Nigerians a chance to adjust to inflationary trends over five years while the promised infrastructure will have enough time to flourish.
They want it now because they want to share the money now. If Okonjo Iweala resigns today, she has already done the damage and the blood of anybody that dies as a result of this will rest on her head. TB

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  1. Anonymous2:54 PM

    From the rejoinder circulated yesterday, it was clear that the allegation that Dr. Iweala was about to resign was really false.

  2. Yes, her spokesman said she has no plans of resigning her post. Fair enough Mr Anonymous, but whether she resigns or not, the removal of the fuel subsidy will hurt many Nigerians. But that won't affect her. I suspect she earns one of those monstrous salaries herself.
    - Nnorom Azuonye