Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Minister of Finance during President Goodluck Jonathan administration, has disclosed that the administration had initiated governance reforms that tacked corruption and saved the country billions of dollars.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, stated this while recalling her tenure as finance minister between 2011 and 2015, in a piece titled, ‘To Beat Covid-19, Governments Need to Open Up’ published on Bloomberg on Monday
According to her, the administration worked hard in a difficult governance environment to open up information and tackle corruption.
“During my tenure as Nigerian finance minister, we worked hard in a difficult governance environment to open up information and tackle corruption.
Though it was not easy, we saved billions of dollars that were channeled to other priorities.”
On COVID-19 and its global impact, the ex-World Band director said the world would not be rid of the virus until there is a safe and effective vaccine available to everyone.
“We will not recover from the far-reaching economic impact of the pandemic without a new social compact between governments and citizens based on transparent, accountable and trustworthy governance.
“Every day that the crisis continues, the value of more open government becomes clearer.
Getting medical equipment, and eventually vaccines, to those that need them most poses a major governance challenge.
“Already, many countries are battling price gouging, collapsing supply chains and even corruption in the procurement of supplies, including personal protective equipment.
“The only way to make emergency procurement fast and efficient is to do it in the open by publishing all tenders and all contracts.
“That’s what Ukraine’s open contracting system aims to do: Civil society groups have monitored the prices of surgical masks over the past several weeks and called attention to potential price gouging.
Source: News update