Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Okonjo-Iweala departs World Bank, resumes as Finance Minister next week

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala departed the World Bank as managing directorFriday and said her biggest challenge as Nigeria's new economic chief will be to develop an economy that is less dependent on oil and gas.

Okonjo-Iweala, who will take up the role of Nigeria's Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance next week, has been a steady hand at the world's largest development institution since 2007, where she has had unique insights into the growing role of developing nations in the global economy.

Nigerian government needs to curb spending in order to put the country on a "better fiscal path. We need to tighten fiscal policy," Okonjo-Iweala said, adding that she is in favour of the central bank pegging the naira to provide stability for businesses. Monetary and fiscal policy must be supportive of each other, she added."Nigeria has to make some fundamental changes, it has to really diversify its economy," Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. "The time is now because investors are interested in the country," she said.She said the country's manufacturing sector had lost competitiveness due to increasing power shortages and bureaucratic hurdles, while its agriculture and services sectors had a lot more room to grow, and a flourishing entertainment industry held great potential. One lesson Okonjo-Iweala takes with her is that consistent policies and a stable political environment are essential for any economy to flourish.

"We have to show policy consistency in all kinds of ways. It builds trust in the economy, it builds a resilience and that helps enormously," Okonjo-Iweala said.

"There is a lack of political will by all actors worldwide to try to secure peace" in Somalia," Okonjo-Iweala said. "You cannot help farmers, and you cannot help pastoralists, unless there is peace," she added.

She said the situation in the Horn of Africa "should not color the success" Africa has had in recovering from the last financial crisis.


Related stories: Video - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala shares a story about military intimidation

Okonjo-Iweala seeks renaissance in science and tech

No comments:

Post a Comment