Click here to Download Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Language English having PDF Size 2.1 MB and No of Pages 196.
Nigeria is one of the most interesting countries in the world. It is energetic and sometimes chaotic, and its people are wonderfully entrepreneurial. Nigerian women are particularly enterprising. The actions of a small percentage of Nigeria’s population have given the country a bad name—one associated with corruption—and this book talks about that.
Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
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But the overwhelming majority of Nigerians are honest, hardworking citizens who want what citizens elsewhere want—for their government to provide peace, stability, and basic services and then get out of their way so they can live their lives. The country is large (924 square kilometers) and complex. With an estimated 2017 population of about 190 million.
It is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh-most populous in the world. One in six Africans is Nigerian. Nigeria is projected to be the fifth-largest country in the world by 2030 (estimated population 264 million) and the third-largest by 2050 (estimated population 410 million.
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Currently, 63 percent of Nigeria’s population is under twenty-five years of age, and like the rest of Africa, its youthful population can either be harnessed for a demographic dividend—or it can pose a tough employment and outmigration challenge.1 Nigeria’s complexity arises partly from its more than 350 ethnic groups, which speak as many languages, most of which are not mutually understandable.
There are three main ethnic groups—Igbos in the southeast of the country (18 percent), Yorubas in the southwest (21 percent), and Hausa-Fulani in the north (29 percent).2 English is the official language, an outcome of British colonial rule when Great Britain amalgamated the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria into a unified country in 1914.
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Most Nigerians also speak a version of English called Pidgin English that incorporates indigenous words and expressions. Further complexity arises from religion. The country is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. The north of the country is mainly Muslim with an important Christian minority, and the south is largely Christian with an important Muslim minority.
It is not uncommon in Nigeria to find families that have both Christian and Muslim members. In both the north and south, some groups still practice indigenous religions. On a nice spring day in the first week of May 2011, when I was in my fourth year as Managing Director, Operations, at the World Bank, my cell phone rang in my office in Washington, DC.
It was Atedo Peterside, one of Nigeria’s most respected bankers, chairman of Stanbic-IBTC, one of the country’s top-rated financial institutions. Atedo and I had struck up a good professional relationship during my first stint as Finance Minister (2003 to 2006), based on a shared view of the strategic directions that. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book
Nigeria’s development should take and the role that the financial sector should play within that development. I had not heard from him in months but I was not really surprised by the call, as it was quite usual for me to get calls from private and public sector officials from Nigeria. They would seek to exchange views on economic issues or ask guidance on an economic or financial matter.
Nevertheless, I was totally unprepared for what Atedo had to say. After the usual pleasantries, he said that he was calling to alert me that the recently elected President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, would be calling me to request that I join his cabinet as Finance Minister. The President was due to be sworn in at the end of May and he wanted to put together his cabinet as quickly as possible.
He added that he and a group of other concerned Nigerians, mostly from the private sector, were responsible for getting the President to seek my return as Finance Minister. My immediate reaction was one of irritation and rejection of the notion. I told Atedo, first, I was enjoying my job and did not want to leave; second. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book
While I considered it a huge honor to be asked to serve, I had already done so and given back to the country twice—first in 2000 as economic adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, then from 2003 to 2006 as Finance Minister, and then Foreign Minister in the second Obasanjo administration.
I pointed out that the previous Finance Minister, Segun Aganga, recruited from Goldman Sachs London, had only served for a year and could be asked to continue, or Atedo himself or another of the qualified private sector managers could do the job. Atedo responded that the consensus among the group pushing for my return was that.
In the aftermath of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s death in office and the shaky political period that ensued leading up to Goodluck Jonathan’s election, there was a need for someone of international stature to take over management of the economy to restore confidence and encourage domestic and foreign investment flows into the economy. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book
Second, the country needed a strong strategic push to encourage nonoil sources of growth. Third, there was need for action to help plug revenue leakages and strengthen financial management. The feeling was that I fit the bill for solving these problems better than anyone else. Atedo requested that, at the minimum, I listen to the President-elect before making up my mind.
In the days following Governor Donald Duke’s departure from Washington and our extraordinary conversation, I was mulling all this over and trying to figure out what it would mean should I accept the assignment when the attacks began. Friends and family alerted me to a spate of articles that had begun to appear in a Nigerian online news outlet.
Sahara Reporters, that were attacking me and the notion of my return to government as Finance Minister. My initial reaction was to dismiss this as a stunt by an attention-seeking news outlet. I had had an unpleasant encounter with Sahara Reporters when I was minister. One night I received a call on a private phone line that I had reserved for use only by my family. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Download
When I picked up the phone expecting a family member, a voice said this was Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporters and he had some questions for me to answer. I was outraged and asked how he came about my private number. Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, basically told me he had his sources but how he got the number was not the issue.
I was a public servant, he had a right to call me on any number any time, and I should answer his questions. I told him in no uncertain terms that he had no right to intrude on my privacy. Shortly after, a tape of our conversation appeared on the Internet. Not only had this man violated all rules of decent behavior.
But he had gone beyond to do something as unethical as taping our conversation without my knowledge or permission. I did not think this was a news medium worthy of attention. Sahara Reporters began publishing negative articles at the rate of almost one a day in late May and through June and July 2011 (see appendix A). Clearly something was afoot. The articles took different approaches in their attacks. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Download
Some claimed that I was a failure in my first term as Finance Minister and therefore not worthy of being invited back. Others saw success in my earlier work but predicted that in a second term I would face such formidable opposition from state governors who did not want me back that I would fail, so I should not bother to come back.
In 2012, in addition to the serious issues of the oil subsidy fraud, tensions began to rise in FAAC meetings over the lower-than-projected disbursements of oil revenues to the Federation accounts. The lower disbursements put states and federal government in the position of not being able to implement budgets fully.
The 2012–2015 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) had set the benchmark oil price at which states and the federal government should budget at $72 per barrel, compared to an average price per barrel for Nigeria’s premium crude (Bonny Light) of $113. With projected production of 2.48 million barrels per day. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Download
It was expected that monthly oil revenues to the Federation Account would average ₦808 billion ($5.1 billion). Further, the difference between the benchmark oil price and the market price per barrel (after deductions of various costs and payments for NNPC transactions—always uncertain as to amount) would accrue as savings in the Federation’s Excess Crude Account.
A savings fund we developed in my first term as Finance Minister under President Obasanjo’s administration to help manage oil price volatility and save for a rainy day).7 However, starting at the beginning of the second quarter of 2012, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of State Finance began.
To report serious shortfalls in the amount of oil revenues disbursed by NNPC to the Federation Account. When the senior management team in the Finance Ministry reviewed the accounts, we found a lot of variability from month to month in terms of shortfalls, with an average monthly shortfall of about ₦160 billion ($1 billion) if budget and Excess Crude Account shortfalls were added together. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Download
FAAC participants asked for an explanation for the shortfalls from the NNPC. The Finance Ministry also convened meetings with officials from NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to understand the disturbing trend. Month after month, the explanation was that revenues were being lost to oil theft and pipeline vandalization.
At a time of rising oil prices, when Nigeria should have been maximizing its output and revenues, the country was suffering considerable losses. NNPC said that an average of about 150,000 barrels per day were being lost to theft via siphoning from the pipelines. But the impact was well beyond the amounts stolen.
Pipeline vandalization, using increasingly sophisticated underwater equipment, was causing companies to implement large shut-ins (shut-downs of an entire pipeline that is carrying petroleum products), up to an average of about 400,000 barrels per day, leading to huge revenue losses of $1 billion per month. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Download
To this day, under the new Buhari administration, claims and counterclaims continue to be made about unaccounted-for monies. Over the course of seven days, three separate claims were made. On March 15, 2016, the Auditor General of the Federation claimed that its 2014 audit showed that ₦3.2 trillion ($16 billion) was unaccounted for by NNPC in terms of remittances to the Federation Account.
On March 17, 2016, NNPC countered that it owed only ₦326 billion and was in fact owed ₦1.37 trillion by the Federation Account. On March 22, 2016, the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Affairs Commission claimed that ₦4.9 trillion was unaccounted for by NNPC. What country can operate like this? The story of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is ugly.
Although revenues from the sector have, to a substantial extent, helped finance the country’s development, the impact of the sector has fallen far short of expectations because of inappropriate policies, inefficient and nontransparent institutions, corruption, capture by leaders, and rent-seeking internal and external elites. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Free
This makes the sector a minefield for anyone seeking transparency, accountability for revenue flows, or simply the honest and straightforward conduct of government business. Trying to block fraudulent oil marketers from access to government oil subsidies, pushing for accountability for revenues due to the Federation from the oil and gas sector.
Managing competing sectoral interests, and dealing with the noxious politics surrounding the sector has meant stepping on many powerful toes. Trying to bring transparency and accountability to this sector was probably one of the most stressful and dangerous tasks of my job as Finance Minister!
Of this amount, $1 billion had ostensibly been set aside for the newly created Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), but it had yet to be implemented. The Sovereign Wealth Fund, underpinned by law, was intended to replace the Excess Crude Account as a mechanism to better manage savings generated by the application of the oil-price–based fiscal rule. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Free
The Sovereign Wealth Fund envisaged three windows: a Stabilization window for short-term, more liquid management of funds; a Future Generations window, with a longer-term investment horizon; and most interesting, an Infrastructure Fund, an investment window intended to allow the Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest to help lift the most binding domestic constraint to development—infrastructure.
My predecessor as Finance Minister under the Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration, Segun Aganga, oversaw the creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and shepherded the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) bill through the National Assembly in 2010 with great difficulty. When I succeeded Segun Aganga.
I oversaw the implementation of the NSIA act and thus the practical creation and launch of the Sovereign Wealth Fund. This issue of savings, the rationale for it, and modalities for doing so were most often debated at the National Economic Council. The strong support of the President and Vice President enabled us to engage the governors in 2012 and 2013 and to rebuild the country’s fiscal buffers. As a result, the country had saved about $9 billion in the Excess Crude Account by the end of 2013. Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF Book Free