Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala
By Adeola Akinremi
President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday commended the efforts of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala describing her as a patriotic citizen.
President Jonathan who spoke during the launch of a new book by the Minister, said: “I see this publication as an attestation of patriotism on the part of the author. As an administration, we shall always support such enterprise, for the purpose of setting the records straight.”
The book, “Reforming The Unreformable,” captures the reform of the Nigerian economy under former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which the author played a lead role.
According to him, the central message of the important book is hope.
“It is hope that Nigeria can reform, and grow to become one of the world’s most dynamic economies.
“I commend this book for documenting some of the important reforms, which have occurred in Nigeria since our recent democratic transition. Indeed, the CME argues convincingly, in this book, that Nigeria is gradually reforming. She shares her own personal experiences in playing a pivotal role in some of the recent economic reforms.
“Too often Africa’s history, economic challenges and progress have been written and narrated by outsiders. Now, we have a book, written by one of our very own scholars, who is candid about our problems, and also commends us when our reforms are successful. Nigerian and African leaders need to invest more in writing about their experiences, and I commend Dr. Okonjo-Iweala for investing time and resources into writing this book,” he said.
He noted that in the past, there was a lot of cynicism about Nigeria when many people claimed that the political and economic institutions of this country could never be reformed, saying that is changing now.
He reiterated his commitment to a flourishing democracy, saying that as President, he has a priority to build strong institutions and embark on vital and needed reforms that will consolidate Nigeria’s democratic enterprise and guarantee sustainable development.
“Sustained reforms flourish better in an atmosphere of democracy and freedom and we are continuing to work to ensure that sound democratic principles are upheld in the country. Ever since, the 2011 presidential elections adjudged to be one of the freest and fairest in our nation’s history, we have successfully held several state and local government elections, which have been equally applauded.
“Just last week, we also conducted a very successful gubernatorial election in Ondo State, where Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is not from the ruling party at the National level, was declared winner and returned elected. This is a new dawn in our initiative on electoral reform,” he said.