Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu tells Buhari to seek advice from Okonjo Iweala over economic recession

Chairman of the Champion Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek economic advice from a former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as a way of rescuing the country from recession.

Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, listens to a statement, during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone/Alessandro Della Bella)

The businessman warned that with the present economic difficulties, no foreign investor would invest in the country.

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Speaking in Owerri, the Imo State capital, when members of the African Youth Parliament from 50 African countries, led by the Nigerian representative, Ibrahim Mohammed, visited him, he enjoined Nigerians to generate fresh ideas rather than attribute blames and give excuses.

While harping on the need for Buhari to seek help from the immediate past co-ordinating minister for the economy, Iwuanyanwu said, “When Nigeria was in this type of mess some years ago, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, called on Okonjo Iweala to help. Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan also used her to revive the country’s economy.

“Nigeria, at this present stage of economic hardship and downturn, should also call on Okonjo-Iweala and others for help. We are in a recession now, if care is not taken, we shall go into depression soonest.”

It will be recalled that a former member of the House of Representatives and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Bitrus Kaze, had advised Buhari to eat the humble pie and reach out to the likes of former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonji Iweala, to help the nation come out of its current dwindling economy.

“If I were President Buhari, I would eat the humble pie and go after this woman. She is a world class,an economist, she is highly respected in world economic institutions like IMF, World Bank, among others,” he advised.

The elder statesman also frowned on the way sensitive ministries were merged into one, adding that there was no way such supervising minister would perform a miracle in his or her responsibilities.

“In fact, he (Buhari) should separate Works, Housing and Transport ministries and appoint a minister each for the ministries,” he said.

However, the former minister had foreclosed serving in the current government Buhari, even if invited, pointing out that: “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.”

“One of the things you learn as you get wiser is to talk less as you grow older. 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,” the former Managing Director of World Bank stated.

You may recall that Buhari had while declaring open the annual meeting of the Association of African Central Banks in Abuja, advised central banks of Africa countries against relying on prescriptions from foreign countries.

He called on them to rather develop home-grown solutions to the economic challenges facing the continent.



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