Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said a
former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,
pleaded with him not to tell Nigerians that the country was broke.
Amaechi, who said the country went into recession under the
administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, added that the
previous administration covered up with the excuse that the
An online medium, The Cable, reported that Amaechi said this on the Osasu Show on Tuesday.
According to the report, Amaechi alleged that Okonjo-Iweala, begged him
to stop saying Nigeria was broke in order not to drive away investors
from the country.
Amaechi, who was the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum at the
time, explained that the economy went into a recession due to excessive
“People just pick up words without knowing what they mean. Even under Goodluck (Jonathan) we went into recession.
“I am one of those who participated in the budget. We looked at what
happened in the past and we discovered that actually if recession means
three times (three quarters of negative economic growth), we have done
more than the three times before we came in.
“The difference is that while our government is transparent and open,
we are able to admit that, the Federal Government was saying even to me
as chairman of governor’s forum, ‘Amaechi, don’t say that again’.
“If you remember as governor, I said we were broke. The minister of
finance came to my office in Abuja and pleaded with me that I shouldn’t
say it again. That if I said it, it would affect Nigeria in terms of
investment; that investors will run away. That I shouldn’t say we are
broke. I should say we are cash-strapped. That was what Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala told me.
“So, I knew as chairman of Nigeria Governors’ forum, that we had gone
into recession under Goodluck. I knew as chairman of governor’s forum.
And when I open my mouth to say it, that we are broke, she spoke to me
not to say it.”