Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The Federal Government has restated its unwavering commitment to rid Nigeria of economic crimes and corrupt practices.This statement was made by President Goodluck Jonathan, during the launch of the book, titled “Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria”, written by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy (CME), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, which held in Abuja on Tuesday.
The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said “we are going after those who commit various economic crimes and corrupt practices with impunity. As you may be aware, Government is taking every legal measure to ensure that those who defrauded the government in the petroleum subsidy scheme are made to pay back the stolen funds, and also are severely punished.”
President Jonathan, who described the Minister as Nigeria’s shining light, stated that the book sends forth the message of hope, that Nigeria can reform and reach the highest pedestal of nations, while also saying it documents some of the important reforms, which have occurred in the country “since our return to democratic rule in 1999”.
Speaking further he said “Indeed the CME argues convincingly, in this book, that Nigeria is gradually reforming. She shares her own personal experience in playing a pivotal role in some of the recent economic reforms,” adding that “On a personal note, I see this publication as an attestation of patriotism on the part of the author.”
Earlier the author of the book and the CME, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated that the essence of the book which took her four years to write, was to engender hope in Nigerians, and also for Nigeria to learn from her past experiences to shape her future. She stressed that the book was not her biography.
The chairman of the occasion and the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, in his remarks eulogised the Minister as the most cherished advert of Nigeria to the global community. He described the book as an important compendium of Nigeria’s reform programme. He also used the occasion to call for the entrenchment of true federalism in the governance structure of the country.
Professor Paul Collier of the Oxford University, the South African Minister of Finance Mr. Pravin Gordhan and Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who reviewed the eight chapters, 198 paged book, described sound rules and effective institutions as the important pillars for societal development.
Present at the occasion were the Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd), Federal Executive Council members, top notchers of the finance industry, captains of industry and several other top government officials.