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OKONJO-IWEALA: Killing us softly with debt

“Every hero[ine] becomes a bore at last”, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1808-1882. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 90).

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, like most of us who studied in America, and undertook elective courses, must have read about Emerson.

When she came in 2003, ostensibly to teach us a lesson that Nigeria as a nation should avoid the debt trap, we believed she was sincere. Even when she overpaid our Western creditors, who we later learnt, foisted her on us, we still gave her credit for helping us to escape the debt trap.

But, “what does corrupting time not diminish?” asked Horace, 65-8 B.C. Today, we have on our hands a Minister of Finance who has been part of the conspiracy to return us to the debt trap.

Sometimes, one wonders if the measure she introduced in 2003 was really her own or was either handed to her from the World Bank, or, God forbid, plagiarized from another economic guru.

The fact is; the Dr Okonjo-Iweala of 2014 bears no resemblance to the 2003 version; they only bear the same name. One might even find oneself indulging in the satanic thought that there might have been some sort of identity theft. Has somebody kidnapped the “real” Okonjo-Iweala and are we now dealing with an impostor?

Just in case you think this is all crazy stuff, please take a look at these graphs and figures representing the mounting domestic debt situation and the frightening debt servicing burden this country now experiences.

Later, I will reveal the external debt situation. And the situation is getting worse. Is this any way to run a Ministry of Finance?

Since, as the Chinese say, “a picture is worth more than a thousand words”, there will be no comment from me. Judge for yourself.

 


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