Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has enthused that President Muhammadu Buahri’s decision to head the petroleum ministry was not the best option for Nigeria.
Speaking as a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, United States on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Okonjo-Iweala said: “I think the president has the prerogative to do a lot of things, and this is not the first time in our country. President Obasanjo was also the president of Petroleum Resources in his time. I am not saying this is the best way or best practice but I am just saying for our circumstances it is not the first time.”
Okonjo-Iweala also spoke on her decision to join the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet after serving Olusegun Obasanjo’s government.
She said: “When the opportunity came to go for it for the second time, I went, perhaps unwisely, but I went because no one will fight this corruption for us, we have to do it ourselves.
“But having left government, I have come under attack with people saying she’s done this or that, trying to join you in the group of the corrupt.”
Okonjo-Iweala also regretted the National Assembly’s inability to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which she attributed to vested interest on both the local and international front.
She said: “This bill has the power to transform the entire petroleum industry where there is a lot of corruption.
“And with that we would have commercialized the oil company (NNPC), made it open up its books but the heavy lobbying by both the domestic vested interests and the international vested interests blocked this.”