Thursday, June 22, 2006

The new finance minister etc

I haven't read the papers or scanned the internet for analysis, but the word on the street about why the Finance Minister has been replaced (by her junior, the former minister of State) if true, threatens to quickly return me to my depression. The word is that the Govt need to get big money out of the treasury to fund the upcoming election campaign, and Ngozi would not have allowed that to happen. By replacing her with an inexperienced and manipulable alternative, treasury funds can be more easily secured. I hope against hope that this is not true.

Meanwhile, one of the contractors I have been working with on my EU project came to see me this morning. I noticed something odd in her face immediately. Then she told me. 'I've been robbed. Twenty gunmen came to our house in Gwarimpa and took everything.' They came back to the next street the following week. At this point, they decided to move. As she was telling me this, I could see a bewildered pained expression surface to her face; the tears of the trauma were close by. My assistant, who lives with her mom over an hour outside the city, tells the same story. 'They come every night.'

All this is more than a little worrying. The next few months may turn out to be chaotic and riven with blood. So much money flowing around, with so few people having access to it. She is considering leaving the country. How could anyone blame her?


ban iddiott 12:01 pm  

hang on matey, which is more important the ministry of finance or that of external affairs? I would think making her the foreign secretary would be of greater significance, the face of Nigeria to the outside world. Money is not everything Jez.

Jeremy 12:24 pm  

I didnt say I agree with the 'word on the street'. It could be the typical cynicism that rears its ahead immediately in such situations. But removing her from the post at this delicate stage, with so much more macro-economic policy and implementation work to be done is at the least a questionable tactic.

Chxta 12:57 pm  

concerning Okonjo's movement, I hope that they would continue publishing the Federation accounts. That would at least retain the accountability we all seek.

The rest of your post is very depressing to read.

Olawunmi 1:04 pm  

could they be positioning her for a greater political office in the next administration? that was my initial thought, but your twist is more in character with normal practice in naija.

the rest of your story is heart-breaking indeed. damn.

Chxta 1:09 pm

ayoke 1:21 pm  

I’m more prone to believing Ngozi was removed for not-too-good reasons and I’ve said that much on my post on this topic. If a career diplomat cannot rescue the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, what’s the business of an economist?

culturalmiscellany 1:44 pm  

Very sad indeed. Ngozi was doing some excellent work, particularly with regards to the accounting principles and concepts introduced. It is a shame if that is how she has been repaid. However, we must be mindful of the fact that with all these things we may never know the true story.

Five senior executives were ousted from my organisation on Monday, no reasons given. I have learnt alot from my five years in the working world; one of the most important things I learnt was not to live for work alone as it rarely brings the satisfaction in life one is seeking. Ngozi will survive and do well wherever she goes as she has shown the principles by which she works, largely integrity and that is an invaluable asset.

As for the lady who has been robbed, she must be devastated. I cannot believe to imagine what that must feel like. However, having been burgled numerous times I have learnt that possessions are not everything and that your sanity and happiness can only be stolen if you let them. I pray she is able to see past this incident to the future. My thoughts are with her and those others affected.

Jeremy, if we can support you in any way during your stay in Nigeria please let us know.

Akin 2:01 pm  

I have written a few times about being robbed in my own house by armed men who spared us because we cooperated in letting them cart away our goods.

I can only sympathise with the poor lady, however, in a world where many treat life so cheaply, losing your property might bring temporary sorrow, having your life, health and well-being gives you hope.

That is the only way to move on from such a misfortune.

Opium,  2:15 pm  

Let's not turn perception in to a false reality. Not that I'm an idealist but this smells like the third term smoke screen that served to distract people from the real issues as opposed to abuja gossip.

Jeremy 4:07 pm  

I agree with opium. As I said in my post yesterday, its all too easy to fall for the cynical interpretation - perhaps most especially living in Abuja.

There may just be a surprise around the corner with what happens next to Ngozi - and this move is the stepping stone towards that. There is structural transformation at work in Nigeria - beginning with banking and macro-economic reform.

Baba Alaye,  8:01 am  

Bose had integrity beleived in transparency, but slowly, surely, she's getting Abujanised.
I would have been upset if this had happened a few months ago but not right now.There is a grave danger in idolizing people for simply doing their job. Oh well...
Why are there so many Robbers in Abuja now.Lagos used to be the Wild wild west. How things change.
I guess all the thieves have gotten gainfully* employed (riding Okada)

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