Recession: It’s time to Invite Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala ~ Babatope tells Buhari


Former Transport Minister and member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek the assistance of those well versed in management of  distressed economy to assist him in pulling the nation from the abyss it has sunk. 

L-R: Chief Ebenezer Babatope and President Buhari

While undergoing an interview with The Sun, Chief Babatope specifically mentioned former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as one of those that could offer the needed expertise to pull Nigeria out of recession.

When asked to speak on the issue of how the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration has consistently blamed the precarious state of the economy on the erstwhile ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 
And, how President Buhari recently passed a damning verdict on his party (PDP) as he dismissed 16 years of PDP as a colossal waste.

He said; You see, I am amazed that President Buhari and the APC keep on accusing the PDP of doing so many terrible things to the Nigerian economy but they have been there now for over one year, going to about 17 or 18 months in office. Nigerians have hoped that all these accusations ought to have stopped. They should create an image for themselves and stop blaming the PDP for everything.

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When President Buhari said the PDP didn’t leave any legacy for him, it was a laughing matter, because you have got over 17 months to impress it on Nigerians that you are better managers but they haven’t done that.
The result is that Nigerians are suffering, the suffering is too much.

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I live with my people in Ilesa township here and I feel the pinch of what they feel. I can tell you that the suffering of the people is so terrible that as I speak, if President Buhari were to go for popularity test, he would fail woefully, because the time has come for him to stop all this buck-passing, let him face the reality and start running the affairs of Nigerians in a way that will impress our people.

Recession: It's time to Invite Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala ~ Babatope tells Buhari
Nigeria’s Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

I have thought over it, what could be the solution and I have thought of the solution; there is nothing wrong in President Buhari appointing Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a  Special Adviser to the government on the economy. That lady has shown herself to be a thorough professional, who knows the job. She wasn’t PDP, she was brought by Obasanjo, after he had discovered her talent and I think she should be brought back again to come and help the country. The woman has been a professional, let them appoint her as economic adviser. She was used by the PDP administration, she isn’t a politician and the woman would avail Nigeria and President Buhari of the best methods to arrest the recession Nigeria is facing now.

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That recession can only be stopped by people who are professionals and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala can do it. Let them appeal to her; I will join in appealing to her that she should kindly consider working with Buhari and working with Nigeria because this suffering is too much. If it continues for two more months, President  Buhari will be very unhappy what is going to be the after effect.

But some Nigerians see the former Minister of Finance as part of the rot of the last administration that the present government is trying to salvage. Don’t you think your suggestion is going to be a hard sell? The interviewer asked.

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He said; Which rot? Look, we have to be very, very circumspect in the way we apportion blames. What rot? This woman wasn’t PDP, she was purely a professional economic adviser and she gave her advice; where the government didn’t take it, she left it off.  I have no doubt in my minds that she has all the facts in her brain to arrest the current recession in the country. It is absolutely clear that President Buhari has got no economic managers at all and his Minister for Finance, nice person but she hasn’t got the technical knowhow on how to arrest the type of economic problem we are facing.

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But is it practicable for the government to pick an economic team, across the party divides? I don’t agree with that. The APC is in government, it was voted into power by the Nigerian people on the platform of change and now we have seen that change has become something else. In fact, when I went to the North about two months ago, as a part of Bode George’s campaign for  national chairman of the PDP,  I was surprised when I heard our colleagues in the North telling us that the slogan now in the North is ‘change the changer!’
The North now knows that this changer is a very, very poor and bad manager. So, I think, let it be purely APC affair, but there are some Nigerians  who have distinguished themselves as economic managers, who have done very well in their various spheres of influence and one of them is Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Meanwhile, the former Minister of finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had in a recent interview with Al Jazeera revealed some reasons why she wouldn’t want to work with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government even if invited….Read the full post here….Reason Why I will not like to serve as Minister under Buhari ~ Okonjo-Iweala


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