Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF

Download Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF book free online. frontline account of how to fight corruption, from Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has written a primer for those working to root out corruption and disrupt vested interests. Drawing on her experience as Nigeria’s finance minister and that of her team, she describes dangers, pitfalls, and successes in fighting corruption. She provides practical lessons learned and tells how anti-corruption advocates need to equip themselves. Okonjo-Iweala details the numerous ways in which corruption can divert resources away from development, rewarding the unscrupulous and depriving poor people of services.

Okonjo-Iweala discovered just how dangerous fighting corruption could be when her 83-year-old mother was kidnapped in 2012 by forces who objected to some of the government’s efforts at reforms led by Okonjo-Iweala—in particular a crackdown on fraudulent claims for oil subsidy payments, a huge drain on the country’s finances. The kidnappers’ first demand was that Okonjo-Iweala resign from her position on live television and leave the country. Okonjo-Iweala did not resign, her mother escaped, and the program of economic reforms continued. “Telling my story is risky,” Okonjo-Iweala writes. “But not telling it is also dangerous.” Her book ultimately leaves us with hope, showing that victories are possible in the fight against corruption.

Editorial Reviews

Review of Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous PDF

In the epilogue of Ngozi Okonjo-account Iweala’s of her second term reigning over Africa’s turbulent finances, there is a striking tale. Following a tip from a putative whistleblower, authorities raided her Abuja home in search of cash hoards after she had left Nigeria and her office. They thought they’d struck gold when they discovered several bags in the basement. Only the bags turned out to be full of newspaper clippings from the previous four years. There isn’t any money.

The dissemination of harmful rumours that throw doubt on the integrity of their target is one of the most pernicious strategies used by vested interests against individuals obstructing corruption. Nigeria’s gangster politicians and profiteers had refined the dark art of “fake news” and “alternative facts” long before US President Donald Trump popularized the terms.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank managing director who paved the way for the writedown of Nigeria’s historic debts as finance minister between 2003 and 2006 — and again between 2011 and 2015 under the hapless administration of Goodluck Jonathan — has been relentlessly targeted, indicating that she stepped on powerful toes.

Her second book is largely an attempt to clear the air after caustic claims followed her out of office after Jonathan lost elections in 2015 and the government changed hands. It’s also a brave account of Nigeria’s fight against corruption. The book also serves as a diagnostic of what’s wrong and a prescription on how to fix it between the lines.

There are tragicomic moments in the story. One example is when Mrs Okonjo-Iweala puts an end to a duplicate cargo tracking system at ports that is designed to line pockets. When she discovers she can no longer enter the president’s mansion through the VIP entrances, her act comes back to haunt her. Christine Lagarde, the visiting IMF director, is obliged to take detours around the grounds even when she is accompanied by her.

The counter-attacks were frequently even more menacing. Mrs Okonjo-mother, Iweala’s who is 83 years old, was kidnapped and held captive for days at the behest of oil marketers whose bogus subsidy claims the minister had refused. The ransom demand was for her to quit on national television. She didn’t do it. She was soon notified of a conspiracy to assassinate her personally. She recounts a meeting with a group of Abu Dhabi businessmen who promised $2 billion in financing disguised as a shipbuilding investment that the president wanted her to attend.

“The presidential adviser gave me the I told you so look, as if this wouldn’t work until you got this woman involved.” The consultant was correct. She thwarted what appeared to be a rerun of the 2013 catastrophe, in which Mozambique was saddled with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt in exchange for a decommissioned tuna fishing fleet.

The book is a self-defense but not a self-congratulatory one. Much of it emphasizes the never-ending struggle that reformers have in attempting to plug the state’s leaks. There are ghost workers and pension frauds, collusion between contractors and civil personnel in phony debt, and ongoing arm wrestling with legislators and state governors to avoid waste.

All the while, the Treasury’s income, which is largely derived from oil, was being squeezed — on the one hand, by large-scale theft from pipelines and state firm accounts; on the other, by multibillion-dollar fuel subsidy fraud.

As a result, one of the world’s greatest development gurus spent the majority of her time organizing counter-offensives to keep Africa’s largest crude producer from going bankrupt during an oil boom. “The government’s anti-corruption policy sent contradictory messages,” she writes, understatement aplenty.

Friends advised her against working for Mr Jonathan, worried that she would offer credibility to a government that lacked it and risk her own hard-won reputation. She still has her doubts, mostly concerning the dangers that her family is in.

Despite this, she believes it was worthwhile. Billions of dollars have gone missing. However, she estimates that the finance ministry’s initiatives directly saved the government $9 billion. “Had she not been there, it would have been much, much worse,” a Nigerian reformer once told me.

Review

Ultimately this is a book about grit and also about what it means to be patriotic.—Devex

Review

A remarkable book by a truly outstanding human being. Okonjo-Iweala is not only a fine economist but also a charismatic leader. Good governance is a key element in fostering successful economic development, and corruption is deeply corrosive of governance. These reflections on fighting corruption are not only a gripping and moving personal story of stress and courage but a deeply thoughtful and constructive analysis of a fundamental aspect of economic development.―Lord Nicholas Stern, I. G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics; past President of the British Academy; Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change; author of Why Are We Waiting?

About the Author

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, and Foreign Minister in 2006. She was Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, overseeing South Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, and is currently Senior Adviser at Lazard and Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Chair of the African Risk Capacity (ARC). She is the author of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press) and coauthor of Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons. She is the author of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria (MIT Press).

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