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How Nigeria, others can overcome economic challenges –Okonjo-Iweala

How Nigeria, others can overcome economic challenges –Okonjo-Iweala

A former minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has proffered suggestions on how African countries, Including Nigeria can overcome the economic challenges they currently face.

According to her, African governments should set priorities by having a strong control on the rate of inflation, and ensure a stable exchange rate.

The former finance minister, and World Bank official offered the advice while speaking during an interview on #AJStream, a programme on Aljazeera where she also regretted that the economic gains recorded in Africa started eroding a few years ago.

She also stated that solving macroeconomic question was key to fixing the continent’s economic challenges.

“I am not a typical politician. I went in as a technocrat. I think on the continent we have seen a period when the economy was doing well, in the last two years we have been experiencing challenges.

We need to focus on the basics which are macro-economics. You must get the fundamentals like having a stable exchange rate and having inflation under control”, she said.

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On her tenure as Nigeria’s finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala said that it was exciting, and an honour, but would not be eager to repeat it if called upon by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said: “One of the things you learn as you get wiser is to talk less. I have spent my time contributing to the country. It will be better to leave those managing the economy to do what they know how to do. There can be solutions.

“I served my country for seven years and it was a great honour. The second time was very tough but it is still an honour. I am not the only person who is a repository of knowledge. There are other people who can equally try their hands in running the economy”.

She also stated that the average life span of a finance minister in a country is two years, explaining why presidents don’t like them thus: “No one likes a Finance Minister because it is the business of saying no. It is very difficult and challenging. It was interesting for me. I wish I had seen myself as wielding power. All I saw was the job because I was seeing myself working for the country.”

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