‘There’s nothing to gain in pulling Okonjo-Iweala down’ – Peter Obi


The former Governor of Anambra State met with some journalists in the state recently where he spoke on various burning national issues. Of note was the alleged mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

“It is rather unfortunate that we have this attitude of trying to pull down our best. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala is a global star and only came back to serve her country and she did that with passion. We gain nothing trying to pull her down. We did it with Arunma Otteh, but we know what she is today. I have been in several meetings where this woman (Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) was almost crying as she explained and pleaded with all and sundry on the need to save for the rainy day.

She advised that proceeds from excess crude sales should be saved in the Sovereign National Wealth Fund for effective management. I have read newspaper reports that it is ironic that she spoke of a rainy day when it was already pouring. I personally remain indebted to her because it was from her persistent preaching on the need to save in the Sovereign National Wealth Fund that made me incorporate savings in foreign currency – that is why one third of the money we left on leaving office was in foreign currency, $156 million(N25 billion at that time).

With interest now it would be about $170 million and with the current rate it is almost N40 billion. My position in all this is that we must cultivate the attitude of saving as a country. Excess crude money should be saved in the Sovereign Wealth Fund. No country will survive without saving for the future. Even in animal kingdom, the ants save for the rainy day. We must save bearing in mind that natural resources that we enjoy today are depleting assets.”

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