A former Minister of Petroleum, Prof. Tam David-West, has replied the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over her advice on how the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari can increase revenue, saying the incoming president does not need her expertise.
David-West, who spoke to our reporter in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, yesterday, said Buhari is highly experienced in the art of governance, stressing that he knows what to do to manage the economy well.
He said that while Okonjo-Iweala supervises a Nigerian economy in which a United States (US) dollar exchanges for N190, Buhari, during his days as the Head of State, supervised an economy where N1 exchanged for US$1.5.
His words: “I read Okonjo-Iweala’s advice to Gen. Buhari on how to raise revenue with interest and amusement. I don’t think that Buhari needs any advice from her on the subject. He is not new on the terrain. He is a very knowledgeable person on how to move the economy forward. I don’t believe he needs advice from Okonjo-Iweala.
“When Buhari was in charge, oil was $30 per barrel. It even went down to $15 per barrel. Yet, he managed the economy very well. Oil price is now double that price and they are complaining that oil price has fallen.
“Buhari can manage the economy better than Okonjo-Iweala. He never took International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Neither did he flirt with IMF. He refused to devalue the naira in spite of the problem the country was facing from different areas. $1.5 exchanged for N1. But during Okonjo-Iweala’s time, it is N190 to $1.
“Finally, it was N2 to £1. During Okonjo-Iweala’s time, it is N240 to £1. Buhari did not import fuel; he was exporting whereas Okonjo-Iweala imports fuel with bogus subsidy running to trillions of naira. And she has not been able to arrest anyone involved in subsidy scam let alone get a refund from any of them.
“Nigeria is the only country in the world where Okonjo-Iweala is the Finance Minister and coordinating the economy where provision is made for fraud in the annual budget by way of subsidy. So, Buhari does not need her advice.”