Varsity don blasts Okonjo-Iweala in father’s presence

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s remark about Nigeria debt profile infuriates Professor Festus Iyayi, who says the minister’s remark is “irresponsible and shameless”.

A lecturer at the University of Benin, Friday, described the recent utterances of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister as “irresponsible and shameless” at an event where the minister’s father was the Special Guest of Honour, in Lagos.

Festus Iyayi, a professor at the Department of Business Administration, University of Benin, said that the nation’s debt buy back scheme in which US$12 billion was spent was an “unparalleled robbery in the history of the world.”

“We were told that there would be no more foreign debts…the country’s total earnings would now be devoted fully to the development of our people,” said Mr. Iyayi, while delivering a lecture titled ‘After Education, What Next?’

“Thus, in April 2012, their Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told the nation that the nation’s total debt stock was now $44 billion with $5.9 billion in external debts and $38.1 billion or N5.6 trillion in domestic debts.

“Another N559.6 billion, she said, had been set aside in the 2012 budget to service the domestic and external debts.

“She then went on to tell the nation that the situation was healthy for the economy….and we are reasonably in good shape.”

Mr. Iyayi further stated that the country’s increasing poor population are not benefiting from governance.

“Besides the fact that the promise that was made after the dubious debt buy back scheme has been criminally broken with impunity and without accountability,” Mr. Iyayi continued.

“Can anything be more irresponsible and shameless than telling us that ‘we are in reasonably good shape’ in the face of debts totalling $44 billion?”

“Who or what, we might ask, is in reasonably good shape as a result of these dubious loans – the increasing population of not just the poor, but the core poor?”

Chukwuka Okonjo, the minister’s father, had already spoken out against those attacking her daughter’s “principled stand” in the wake of the federal government’s removal of fuel subsidy earlier this year.

However, on this occasion, the retired professor of Economics chose to remain silent, only focusing his eyes on Mr. Iyayi while he spoke about the nation’s debts.

When it was his turn to give remarks, Mr. Okonjo merely complained that he was not asked to give the vote of thanks.

Mr. Okonjo also called for a revolution in the education sector.

“I have calculated, in 23 years, we are going to catch up with Canada, the most educated nation in the world,” said Mr. Okonjo, the traditional ruler of Ogwashi-Ukwu, a Delta State community.

“There is an intellectual distance which also must be revolutionized. We must shorten the distance just as we shorten the distance between the rich and the poor.

“If we do, we’d see that this is the greatest thing we have done,” Mr. Iweala added.

  • FreeKick

    I guess if Chief Okonjo had chosen a retort, it would have read like “You hungry lecturer who has never seen money.”

    • NAGODI

      IF MONEY BE THE MEASURE OF SUCCESS, THEN YOU ARE RIGHT, NGOZI HAS IT ALL! FROM THE DEBT BUY BACK SCAM TO THE BRAND NEW SOVREINGH WEALTH FUND. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN WHAT ORDINARY NIGERIANS WILL HAVE AS LEGACY FROM NGOZI THAT WILL BLOT THE HARDSHIP SHE PLUNGED THEM BACK IN JANUARY WITH HER MASTROKE OF FRAUD, THE FUEL PRICE HIKE!

      • Eddy

        To you everything done by people in government is a scam, unless of cause it was done by your beloved Buhari. Poor sweet Buhari who built 4 refineries with our money and stole enough to build another 15. Do you know where the billions of dollars in government money found in his Midland Bank account went.

        • NAGODI

          SO BUHARI HAS A MIDLAND BANK ACCOUNT? WHAT IS GEJ WAITING FOR THEN? IS BUHARI NOT THE ONE MAKING NIGERIA UNGOVERNABLE FOR HIM? SO HE WONT USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PUT AWAY THE NO.1 SPONSOR AND CREATOR OF BOKO HARAM?
          IBB TOO HAS RECORDS ON BUHARI, YET BUHARI PUBLICALLY CONDEMN IBB AND CALL HIM A THIEF. WHAT IS IBB DOING WITH THE RECORD? I AM SURE YOU REMEMBER WHAT OBJ SAID WHEN HE WAS ACCUSED BY IBB OF MISMANAGEMENT AND THEFT. THEY KNOW EACH OTHER AND THAT IS WHY THE MATTER RESTED IN AMICABLE SETTLEMENT.

          • Easy E

            A quote from the reader’s forum The nation Newspaper: Chales
            Fubura . Writer

            “Check this out E*X*P*O*S*E*D!Buhari Stole More
            Than any Nigerian.**he stole $2.8b as Petroleum minister, Money found in his UK
            Bank.**overthrow Shagari to cover his looting in oil minister.**He locked up
            Nigerians who try to expose his stealing.**OBJ scraped PTF over Buhari’s
            misappropriation of over N2.5 billionShagari’s regime (1979-1983), incurred
            Buhari’s wrath when it decided to investigate the US$2.8 billion (current value
            $68billion) that disappeared from the Midland Bank, London account of the Nigerian
            National Petroleum Cooperation, (NNPC), during General Obasanjo’s era as
            military head of state that preceded Shagari’s.Dr. Olusola Saraki, Turaki of
            Ilorin, was the majority party leader of the Senate at the time and he headed
            the Senate Committee set up to trace the stolen money after some three years of
            clamour for such an investigation by members of the civil society. The money
            was traced to the Midland Bank London branch fixed account of Buhari,
            Obasanjo’s appointee as military head of the Nigerian National Petroleum
            Company. The Committee’s report was presented to the Senate during the tail end
            of Shagari’s regime in 1983, so the House decided to deal with the matter soon
            after the 1983 general elections. The attempt at civilian-to-civilian transition
            provided the fillip for mayhem at the time. The elections were marred by
            massive rigging because incumbent political office holders were refusing to
            slacken their stranglehold on Nigeria Plc., mortgaged as the leaders private
            property. On the 31st December, 1983, Buhari struck under the cover of the
            political commotion that trailed the presidential election results. Buhari
            generally had no agenda for leadership but vendetta against those he called
            critics and rabble-rousers. Buhari did not see any moral wrong in his
            conversion of our oil money into his personal use. Rather he railed at the
            press and what he described as the self-righteous sections of the country for
            making a big deal out of the issue. He locked up without trial, politicians and
            critics including Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, notorious for clamouring for the
            exposure of the oil money rogue. Satire saved my neck at the time. Vera Ifudu,
            who was an NTA reporter then, was sacked through his prodding as military
            ruler, for reporting what Dr. Olusola Saraki had told her in an interview about
            how the missing money was traced to Buhari’s account at a Midland Bank London
            branch. Vera eventually won her case of wrongful dismissal in court against the
            NTA and was financially compensated.Abacha rehabilitated Buhari with the
            chairmanship of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) before he (Abacha) died in 1998.
            When Obasanjo returned to power in May 1999 as civilian president, he found
            that over 2.5 billion naira had not been properly accounted for in the PTF and
            that there was not much on the ground to show for the colossal expenditure the
            agency was claiming. On the day Obasanjo announced the scrapping of the PTF, a
            non-staff brother-in-law of the boss, allegedly serving as his conduit on some
            PTF projects, died suddenly from what appeared to be heart failure. Haruna
            Adamu, who was appointed by Obasanjo to investigate the PTF before finally
            consigning it to the dung heap, allegedly quickly pocketed one hundred million
            naira (N100million) of PTF’s money before operating table could be set up for
            him, thus forcing Obasanjo to hurriedly close the place down without further
            investigations. Buhari has been trying desperately since to return to power,
            perhaps to get a chance to shred the PTF documents? – Elombah”

  • akpos1

    If Mr Iyayi were a Yoruba man, he would probably have prostrated first of all to Mr Iweala as Tinubu does every day to Buhari. Thumbs up for Prof Iyayi. He is a true son of the South South. Brave and courageous people.

    • NAGODI

      THANK YOU AKPOS1, COMMON SENSE IS MINORITY SENSE IN NIGERIA AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE POSTS HERE. THIS FRAUD FORCED ON NIGERIANS CALLED NGOZI BY AN INDISPOSED, CLUELESS MAN IN THE NAME OF GEJ IS A DISASTER. THOSE WHO BOAST ABOUT HER ACHIEVEMENT SHOULD TELL THE WORLD WHAT HER ACHIEVEMENTS ARE. IN NIGERIA THERE ARE NONE. AND IN THE WORLD BANK, HOW MANY COUNTRIES DID SHE IMPACT WITH HER POLICIES THERE? FOR STARTERS ALL THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES OPPOSE HER APPOINTMENT TO THE IMF CHAIR. OFCOURSE HER MASTERS IN THE U.S. DID NOT FIND HER WORTHY EITHER.

    • Easy E

      Now that he prof has had his 15 minutes of fame, he should crawl back into his box. 3012 should be a good year for his next outing.

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    free speech. something you dont get in the north.

    • Osogagba

      Well said, as usual Mpiti.

  • Anthony

    I think Dr. Iyayi was way off the mark by throwing wild allegation in the way of Dr. Iweala. In my humble opinion, I think he was just courting media attention and that he has got by this story. The recent loan from China is one of the best and most structured loan ever got by the Federal Government. This is focused at the way of building our ailing infrastructure and not just to consume as we have been always doing!

    • NAGODI

      THIS HAPPENS TO BE THE 36TH LOAN FROM CHINA BY THE FEDERAL GOVT AND STATES. STILL NO RESULT. REMEMBER THE NATIONAL RAILWAY SCAM. WE SPENT $30 BILLION TO FIX A NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY OF LESS THAN 2000 KM, IT WAS NOT FIXED. CHINA SPENR $2 BILLION TO BUILD A BRAND NEW 2000KM WIDEGAUGE RAILWAY TO TIBET. THE TERRAINE WAS SO INHOSPITABLE THAT THE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS HAD TO USE OXYGEN MASKS. STILL IN THAT MONEY THEY IMPORTED TWO CANADIAN TRAINS EQUIPPED WITH HYPERBARIC OXYGEN COACHES! SO I WILL BELIEVE YOU ANTHONY IF I SEE IT.

  • Anon

    This Professor is talking out of point. Insulting a child in this manner in the presence of his/her parents is not just bad manners, it is uncalled for. Mtschew

    • NAGODI

      HE DID NOT INSULT NGOZI, HE SAID SHE THINKS A $44 BILLION DEBT IS GOOD FOR NIGERIA JUST LIKE HER MASTERS IN USA SAID THAT $16 TRILLION DEBT IS GOOD FOR AMERICA. THE TRUTH IS THAT NO NATION SHOULD BE IN DEBT IF NOT FOR THE FRAUDULENT SYSTEM WE OPERATE IN THE WORLD TODAY. NATIONS BORROW FROM PRIVATE CREDITORS (LIKE THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK) WHO IN TURN CREATE THE MONEY FROM THIN AIR!!! IF WE DONT CALL STUPID WHAT ELSE SHALL WE CALL IT? THIS HAPPENS TO BE THE FOUNDATION THINKING OF NGOZI AND HER ILK.

      • Easy E

        Now the scope your intellectual acumen has extended so far as to presume to tell the foremost world economy how to manage their affairs. You are an arrogant tw*t.

  • Ayekooto

    This is a tale of two Professors; one is Festus Iyayi, another is Chukwuka Okonjo. One has children and grandchildren that are renowned locally and internationally, no one knows the name of any of the children of the other professor.
    So the one with little known lineage is beefing the one with good name.
    Make this Iyayi man go siddon abeg. Nigeria needs more practical persons like aunty Ngozi, not theory mouthers like him.

    • NAGODI

      IF LINEAGE IS WHAT IS IMPORTTANT, THEN YOU ARE RIGHT. IF LINEAGE CAN SUDDENLY BRING ELECTRICITY, ROADS AND JOBS FOR ALL THEN YOU ARE RIGHT. IF IT DOESNT THEN I PREFER THOSE UNKNOWN INTERNATIONALLY AND LOCALLY AND THOSE WITHOUT ANY LINEAGE AT ALL TO BE AT THE HELMS.

      • Amos

        Lineage is nothing, but class is. In one camp, there is a hungry prof seeking popularity and some cash, this has turned him into a cannibalistic vampire. In the other camp, there is peace and serenity – class.

    • Brownson

      U forgot one is a father of harden thieves,that stolen from the poor,sick and uneducated lot of the Nigerian people,their looting have caused us lack of electricity,social healthcare,good roads,insecurity and starvation,if this is what makes the children of one RENOWN,then the other prefers his unknown honest,decent and quiet children,who imply the fear of God in their dealings with fellow humans.

      • Amos

        Are you serious? of all th accusations that have been leveled
        against the finance minister, theft is not one of them. Why do you assume that
        everyone is at it? Is it because your natural instinct would gravitate towards
        looting if you were in a position of trust? Unless you are living in another
        country you must know that power generation in Nigeria is improving in leaps
        and bounds.

  • Iyayi

    Festus Iyayi, you are a disgrace to the Iyayi clan.
    How you go open mouth so tey dey abuse this woman wey don do enough for Nigeria more than all our ancestors combined have done.
    Naughty Professor

    • NAGODI

      MR IYAYI CAN DO NGOZI A GREAT SERVICE BY TELLING US WHAT “ENOUGH” SHE HAS DONE TO NIGERIA.

      • Eddy

        What she has done to Nigeria? What are you on mr?

  • Chuks

    For how long would we continue like this as a nation? Why can’t we, for God’s sake, appreciate our own people and let those who are at least doing something continue with their good work.
    This is another attempt to distract the finance minister, it will not work!
    Thanks my fellow commenters jare. Who knows Festus Iyayi? What is his pedigree?

  • Geloks

    Don blasts Okonjo.
    Me too blast this impudent don thousand times.

  • NAGODI

    THE WESTERN ECONOMIC MODEL ITSELF IS ONE BIG PONZY SCHEME. ITS ALL FRAUD! THIS UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD ON THE WORLD AND ITS PEOPLE IS ABOUT TO COME DOWN IN AN EQUALLY UNPRECEDENTED DEPRESSION. ACCORDING TO NGOZI AND THE SYSTEM SHE REPRESENT 44 BILLION OF DEBT IS GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY. THE ONLY THING THEY USE IN JUDGING A GOOD ECONOMY IS THE VALUES SCRIBBLED ON PAPER, NOT THE PEOPLES QUALITY OF LIFE, NOT INFRASTRUCTURE, NOT THE GAP BETWEEN THE RICH AND POOR, CERTAINLY NOT THE PEOPLES HEALTH. AMERICAS GDP HAS LIKE 20% HEALTHCARE YET IS AN ECONOMICALLY VIABLE NATION! 20% OF WHAT THE NATION PRODUCE IN EARNINGS IS FROM SICK PEOPLE! I SAID IT BEFORE THE FUEL PRICE INCREASE THAT IT WILL CAUSE INFLATION AND THEN DEVALUE OUR CURRENCY WHICH WILL MAKE THE INCREASE FUTILE. WE HAVE TO INCREASE AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN… NAIRA WAS 150 TO THE DOLLAR IN JANUARY, ITS NOW 167! NGOZI DID NOT FORESEE THIS. NOW THE CBN REALISE THAT IT COSTS IT MORE TO PRINT THE NAIRA THAN THE ACTUAL VALUE OF THE NAIRA AND SO THE N5000 PALAVER. PEOPLE LIKE NGOZI ARE EDUCATED ILLITERATES, APING THE WESTERN MODEL WHILE IT DISINTEGRATES BEFORE OUR VERY OWN EYES. THOSE WHO SUPPORT HER CANNOT POINT TO ONE IMPROVEMENT SINCE SHE CAME IN. THE ECONOMY OF GARRI AND EGUSI THAT WE ALL DO IN OUR HOUSES IS A UNIVERSAL LAW OF GOD. IT APPLIES TO STATES, NATIONS AND REGIONS EQUALLY. IF ANYBODY TELLS YOU DEBT IS GOOD THEN HE IS A FOOL. SO ALSO IF ANYBODY TELLS YOU TO SAVE IN A SOVREIGN WEALTH FUND WHEN YOU HAVE NO GARRI AND YOU DID NOT PAY THE RENT, TELL HIM HE IS A FOOL. ITS TIME WE JUDGE PEOPLE BY THEIR FRUITS NOT A HAVARD CERTIFICATE.

  • Anthony

    Iyayi needs publicity! Period!

  • Anthony

    As I read from the papers, this loan was obtained at an interest rate of 2.5 per cent, which is a far cry from the 16 per cent charged by Nigerian banks. This is at varinance to what we used to have in time past.

    • NAGODI

      NO INTEREST RATE IS FAIR. THE ONLY FAIR INTEREST RATE IS ZERO, OR PROFIT AND LOSS SHARING. AT THIS SAME RATE THAT YOU PROPOSE AND FOR EVERY 1 MILLION NAIRA, WE WILL PAY N1,284,000.00 AT A MATURITY PERIOD OF 10 YEARS. IN 30 YEARS WE WOULD HAVE TO COUGH OUT N2,117,000.00 FOR EVERY N1,000,000.00 WE BORROWED. I AGREE THAT THE RATE IS LOW IF WE ARE GOING TO USE THE LOAN, BUT WE ARE NOT! TO NEGOTIATE A LOAN WITH ANYBODY IS A FAILURE FOR AN OIL RICH COUNTRY LIKE NIGERIA. BUHARI HAS SHOWN HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE. WE HAVE A COMMODITY EVERYBODY NEEDS, SO LET US USE WHAT WE HAVE TO GET WHAT WE WANT. THERE ARE MANY COMPANIES IN THE WORLD TODAY THAT WILL READILY BUILD A WIDE GAUGE RAIL LINE FOR US IF WE WILL PAY THEM IN OIL! NIGER REPUBLIC HAS DONE IT, WHY SHOULD WE CONTINUE TO ENSLAVE OURSELVES WITH LOANS.

      • Osogagba

        Buhari has shown what? Or dear! That Taliban? His records as Commissioner for Petroleum in the 70s, Head of State in the 80s and PTF in the 90s only just shows what a shambolic, clueless nepotist who would close his eyes when his own kith and kin are involved in massive acts of corruption while at the same time deceiving himself and a few clueless Nigerians that he is above board and upright.

        • NAGODI

          HE BUILT THREE OF THE FOUR REFINERIES THAT EXIST TODAY. YOUR HEROS ARE ON RECORD AS NOT BEING ABLE TO MAINTAIN THEM LET ALONE BUILD NEW ONES. HE INTRODUCE TRADE BY BARTER WHICH FOR THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME IN OUR HISTORY PRICES CAME DOWN. OMO WAS 3 NAIRA WHEN HE TOOK OVER, IT CAME DOWN TO 50 KOBO BY THE END OF HIS GOVT. SO WAS RICE, COOKING OIL, SOAP, ETC. OBJ SET UP A COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE PTF, THAT COMMITTEE STOLE THE 76 BILLION BUHARI LEFT, HE SET UP ANOTHER TO INVESTIGATE THE PREVIOUS COMMITTEE. WHERE IS THE REPORT? CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPEN AND WHAT CRIMES BUHARI COMMITTED? WHY ACCUSE BUHARI WHEN YOU HAVE THE GOVT AND THE REPORT? TAKE HIM OUT PUT IN PRISON IF YOU CAN. IS YOUR HERO A WHIMP?

      • Amos

        Vodoo economist! Niger Republic has now become the model Nigeria should aspire to emulate. I expect you are exchanging your services to your employers for what they produce. Has this by any chance got something to do with your love of Islamic Banking?

  • Eddy

    This appears to be grandstanding of the worse kind by the
    Prof. You know what they say about those who can’t [hack it in the industry], they
    teach of course. And who is he referring to as their minister for finance? Does
    this idiot live in a foreign state? Has this man managed any successful
    business in the past? Respect is a two way traffic, the proff has to show some
    to earn some.

  • TOLA ADENLE

    Dr. Iweala has never been good news to – or for Nigeria. She deserves the adjectives – and more – hurled at her by Iyayi but poor Nigeria, where citizens generally array themselves based on ethnic groups or ill-digested philosophies, if any.

    How could she be blaming or warning governors about domestic borrowings when the center where she reigns is burdened by domestic and foreign borrowings IN SPITE of her seeing the debt pay-off that caused the country tons in consultants’ fees apart from the principal which none really knew exactly how much.

    If she’s not “shameless”, how could she preach being debt-free and living on what we have so that “future generations would not be burdened …” and within months of leaving Nigeria as a minister during Obasanjo, was advocating a little more borrowing at a South African forum?

    The woman has no solution to the country’s financial problem and has proved as ineffective as those before her. Nigeria’s economy is worse off than before her reign.

    The matter of being from a certain pedigree is irrelevant to this discussion.

  • TOLA ADENLE

    And since her return – this time with more power as Director of the Economy, whatever that means – she has continued, pardon me since she apparently has had no hands in it, to stand by as Nigeria pursues her profligate ways of borrowing for all sorts of “projects” As I’ve had causes to wonder aloud many times, what in the world does the country spend her resources on when she – Nigeria – needs so much borrowing.

    Like it or not, she represents Western donor interests on the Executive Committee. Poor Mr. Okonjo, I do not blame him.