- Director-general of the World Trade Organisation has revealed that she was threatened over her role in sanitising the country
- The former minister also spoke about the role she actively played in renegotiating Nigeria's external debt
- Going further, Iweala said she tackled corruption with the use of technology during former President Jonathan's administration
The director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed the extent to which people tried to silence her when she was reforming the country as a finance minister during the administration of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.
According to her, she was threatened for saving Nigeria huge sums of money from oil subsidy scam.
She disclosed this while speaking during an interview organised by Atlantic Council, a United States think-tank on international affairs.
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Okonjo-Iweala revealed that during Obasanjo’s administration, she worked to ensure renegotiation of Nigeria’s debt in the international community, pointing out the Paris Club debt.
The former minister said she worked to tackle corruption and improving the financial system with the use of technology.
She pointed to the payroll system which eventually reduced the country's financial burden.
Going further, she revealed that the oil subsidy is another form of corruption. She said she was able to tackle the menace successfully.
“So that is, we were fighting other types of corruption. We had an oil subsidy system in which we used to pay marketers.
“Oil marketers who brought in refined oil, you know, we paid them the difference between the market price, and the subsidised price that the government was mandated for selling oil to people.
“And so, that was when I came the second time. This was a big problem. When I left government the first time in 2006, these subsidies were about $2 billion, when I came back, the first thing we noticed was that it had grown to $11 billion.
“So, I asked President Jonathan that we could audit the oil accounts which he fully supported. When we audited, $8.5 billion of the accounts, we found $2.5 billion of fraudulent claims and with his backing, we refused to pay that to the marketers and that led to a series of problems, which I won’t bore you with, including threats to my life."
Soyinka, Okonjo-Iweala to be honoured
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the federal government is set to honour some prominent Nigerians through the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
According to a statement sent to Legit.ng from the organisers of the event, the awardees include literary icon; Professor Wole Soyinka, music maestro; King Sunny Ade, and the minister of trade and investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.
The director-general of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and the deputy secretary-general of United Nations, Amina Mohammed were also on the list of those to be honoured at the event.
FG to reward excellence
In a related development, the federal government through its National Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) clinics initiative is set to reward the most excellent, hard-working, and innovative MSMEs across the country, in tandem to mark the 2021 United Nations World MSME Day.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is set to host the maiden edition of the African Local Content Roundtable.
Source: Legit Nigeria