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Ex-minister Okonjo-Iweala clarifies bribe-for-budget controversy



Ex-minister Okonjo-Iweala clarifies bribe for budget controversy

A former minister for finance and coordinating minister for the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has clarified controversies that have been raised as a result of extracts from her book.

There had been controversies over extracts of her recently released book, ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: the Story Behind the Headlines’, in which many said she had alleged that federal lawmakers had received a bribe of about N17 billion to pass the budget.

But commenting on the controversy on Sunday on her Facebook handle, the former minister lamented, that what is contained in her book was being twisted by some people for selfish reasons.

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She wrote, “It has come to my attention that mischief makers are again trying to distort what is written in my book, ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: the Story Behind the Headlines’, for their own political purposes.

“One more time, It is important that people read the book for themselves. In the case of the N17billion, the book does not talk of bribe. It indicates that lawmakers increased the budget by N17billion and we had to accept that to move on; hence, the term “price to pay”.

“The reason for discussing what happened is that this approach needs to change. The country must clear up and clarify its budget process for the future to improve. Those like Hon Gbajabiamiala trying to introduce lies that myself and my aides put in our own projects and lawmakers were fighting with me on that basis are playing their usual cynical games and Nigerians are tired of that!

“Lies obscure the country’s problems and do not allow us to improve. There were and there still are politicians in the National Assembly trying to do the right thing. The book also points that out. Such well-meaning legislators should not allow their strident colleagues to twist matters and divert attention from the need to improve the country’s budget process so our young people can see a better side of their country”, she stated.


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