Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
By Ndubuisi Francis
A book, ‘Reforming The Unreformable: Lessons From Nigeria’, written by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will be launched Tuesday in Abuja.
Various issues, including “Setting the Stage for Reforms”, “Advancing Macro-economic Reforms”, Promoting Privatisation and Deregulation”, among others, are issues incorporated in the 198-page book.
The book, which has received accolades from many important personalities, including Nobel Laureate in Economics, Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, and Liberian President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, for its rich insights and prescriptions, is based on her experiences while working with the economic team of the President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.
According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the minister, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, the book launch will hold at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja at 10a.m.
The minister had few weeks ago launched the book on the sidelines of the recently concluded annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Tokyo, Japan, describing the book as one of the hope for Nigeria.
“This book shows that no matter how difficult a country may be, with political will and dedication, you can really make a difference. So it’s a book of hope about my country, Nigeria and for all those who think it is the most complicated and difficult country. But it is also one of the most exciting, intriguing and complex country which one has the opportunity to work in,” she said.
On that occasion, the minister, who dedicated the book to her grandchild, said it offers a veritable tool for economic development practitioners and those at the fore-front of implementing policies.
According to her, the book was written based on her experience as finance minister during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s and focuses on how policies could be implemented successfully.
“I am known as an optimist about Nigeria, this book is about the fact that Nigeria is reformable and will soon reform those sector that people think are un-reformable and I hope that we will present this in Nigeria. However, I am trying to tell the world that this country that it finds so difficult, that Nigerians themselves think is so complex that you cannot do anything to reform, that this is not the case. The reforms that we started under President Obasanjo’s leadership from 2003 to 2006 provided the basis for the development that we see now,” she said.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, also commended the minister for writing the book.
“The book is the personal account of the difficult role of different reforms efforts in Nigeria under the government of president Obasanjo and the role played by the Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at that time. Which shows the importance of political will, focus, determination and quality technocrat in achieving positive reforms,” he said, adding that the book is timely as the country grapples with various reform policies of the transformation agenda.
Also, the Director-General, Debt management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo said the book would be a reference point for all, noting that the book is imbued with historic account of the experience of Nigeria as it underwent structural reforms commencing from 2003.
“This book is very important because it is written by somebody who was at a centre in terms of reforms that went on in the country. It is important to note that the reforms are still ongoing,” Nwankwo said.