What Jonathan told me about Nigeria’s economy – Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Minister of Finance has said former president Goodluck Jonathan acknowledged that he did not know economics, but had a clear direction of where he wanted to take Nigeria to.

This is contained in her recently-released book, Fighting Corruption is Dangerous.

Okonjo-Iweala narrated how she joined Jonathan’s team, after rejecting the same offer from the Musa Yar’Adua government.

After considering the offer for a while, she made up her mind, with the support of her family and boss at the World Bank, Robert Zoellick.

“I traveled to Nigeria to see the President, and my youngest brother, ChiChi, drove me to the Villa (the official office and residence of Nigerian presidents) for that definitive meeting,” she wrote.

“Arriving at the residence gate, I suddenly felt nervous about the enormity of what I might be signing on to. My brother noticed my unease and parked the car in a corner, and we prayed for God’s wisdom and guidance.

“At that point, I was almost hopeful that the President might not agree with the issues I would bring up and it would be over. But the meeting went well. President Jonathan was gracious. He listened carefully to all I had to say.

“We had a good discussion on the economy, and even though he kept saying he did not know economics, he was clear on the direction he wanted to take the country.

“We went over my terms of reference, including the role I would assume as Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME), as he wanted it done. He agreed to a regular bilateral meeting at least once a week and accessibility at other times when it might be needed,” she said.


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