Ngozi may go down in history as the most famous Minister of finance Nigeria has ever had. I doubt if previous ministers of finance were scrutinized and castigated as much she was.
But let me ask please – What crimes did Ngozi commit that she is so much vilified and abused by Nigerians? Why do Nigerians blame all their economic problems on Ngozi? Is it because she was conferred with the ceremonial title of “coordinating minister of the economy”?
I have found out that many people who accuse Ngozi of destroying the Nigerian economy are blatantly ignorant of how the Nigerian economy is setup and the duties of the minister of finance.
For starters, there are two ways of controlling an economy – Fiscal Policy and Monetary Policy.
Fiscal policy is the use of government revenues and expenditure to stimulate economic growth while monetary policy is basically the use of money supply (e.g. interest rates) to stimulate economic productivity.
Fiscal policy in Nigeria is maintained and managed by the Ministry of Finance while monetary policy is managed by the central bank of Nigeria.
I find it highly hypocritical that nobody ever accuses the CBN of not doing enough to stimulate economic growth and employment. Incidentally, majority of Nigerians are ignorant of the duties and functions of the CBN.
It is the duty of the Central bank to control and manage
– interest rates;
– foreign exchange reserves;
– the national credit system;
– exchange rates
In Nigeria however, we often accuse Ngozi of depleting our foreign reserves, we accuse her of the high exchange rates; we accuse her of unemployment; we accuse her of inflation; we accuse her of everything wrong with the economy. These aren’t her duties.
Ngozi does not control exchange rates, the CBN does
Ngozi does not manage or control our foreign reserves, the CBN does
Ngozi does not control inflation, the CBN does
Ngozi’s job is to manage the revenues and expenditures of the federal government; how your state governors spend their allocation and revenues is not her concern.
She has carried out her duties to the best of her ability and I can’t think of any previous minister of finance that did a better job than Okonjo Iweala.
Nigerians should learn to apportion blames to whom they are due
Blame the CBN for inflation
Blame the CBN for high rates interest
Blame the CBN for not managing the foreign reserves properly
Don’t blame Okonjo Iweala