The news reports that although a woman was deeply concerned about a negative situation, she also acknowledged that it has inspired a sense of entrepreneurship in numerous Nigerians.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), spoke virtually at an event in Abia State and expressed concern over the loss of trust Nigerians have in their government, particularly in the Southeastern region. She stated that the political class has failed to fulfill their promises to the people.
However, she also noted that this has triggered an entrepreneurial spirit in many Nigerians. She suggested that transparency is the key to regaining the lost confidence and challenged the Abia State Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti, to do things differently and set the pace for a new order in the country.
Okonjo-Iweala also shared her experience as a former Minister of Finance, where she published monthly allocations to states to counter the lies of some state governors who blamed their poor performance on zero allocation from the Federal Government.
She advised Otti to be transparent and not to copy the ways of bad leaders. She insisted that he cannot afford to betray the confidence reposed in him. The former Minister of Finance noted that she lived by example while in office and challenged Otti to inspire hope in the people by doing things right, saying that the expectations on him are high.
She noted that she, as Minister, decided to publish monthly allocations to states in order to counter the lies of some state governors who excused their poor performance on imaginary zero allocation from the Federal Government. “We used to publish the finances of every state, what the Federal Government gave each state every month because I found out governors were telling their people, ‘Oh, we didn’t get any allocation from the Federal Government this month that’s why we cannot pay salaries, that is why we cannot pay teachers, that is why we cannot run our health system’.
“When I was Minister of Finance in 2003 and started asking, ‘Why are people so hostile to the Federal Government’, when I would hold meetings or townhalls people would tell us, ‘Federal Government didn’t give us allocations, therefore, salaries have not been paid, teachers are not paid’ and I found out that they were being told things that were clearly not true.
“Then I went to President Obasanjo and said, can I start publishing what states get each month so their people will know they’re getting this money? He said, yes.
“So we started to publish it in the newspapers every month after the FAAC meeting and then put it on the Internet so you can go to the Ministry of Finance website and see.
”This helped change people’s attitudes. Because people could see and say, oh my state got this 60 million or 100 million this month.”