Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has addressed what she has described as “mischief makers” trying to distort what is written in her book, Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: the Story Behind the Headlines.
It had been reported that the Jonathan administration paid a bribe of N17 billion to the National Assembly before the 2015 budget was passed.
The news had been ascribed to her, with the reports saying it was taken from the book.
Writing on her Twitter, Okonjo-Iweala said the sum was not a bribe, but an increase that the National Assembly made and had to be accepted for the budget to be passed. She wrote:
It has come to my attention that mischief makers are again trying to distort what is written in my book, ‘Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: the Story Behind the Headlines’, for their own political purposes.
One more time, It is important that people read the book for themselves. In the case of the N17billion, the book does not talk of bribe. It indicates that lawmakers increased the budget by N17billion and we had to accept that to move on; hence, the term “price to pay”.
The reason for discussing what happened is that this approach needs to change. The country must clear up and clarify its budget process for the future to improve.
Those like Hon Gbajabiamiala trying to introduce lies that myself and my aides put in our own projects and lawmakers were fighting with me on that basis are playing their usual cynical games and Nigerians are tired of that!
Lies obscure the country’s problems and do not allow us to improve. There were and there still are politicians in the National Assembly trying to do the right thing. The book also points that out.
Such well meaning legislators should not allow their strident colleagues to twist matters and divert attention from the need to improve the country’s budget process so our young people can see a better side of their country.