Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Quotes.
The idea [the government’s ‘You Win’ campaign] is that instead of young people in Nigeria waiting to get employment, they should create their own jobs and employ their peers and employ other people.
When I became finance minister, they called me Okonjo-Wahala – or ‘Trouble Woman.’ It means ‘I give you hell.’ But I don’t care what names they call me. I’m a fighter; I’m very focused on what I’m doing, and relentless in what I want to achieve, almost to a fault. If you get in my way, you get kicked.
Im told Im like my father, and he was the most wonderful man. But I think he was gentler than me.
My parents lost everything, all their savings, because we had to run from the Nigerian side to the Biafran side. We were Igbos.
Women account for about 70% of Africa’s food production and manage a large proportion of small enterprises. They are also increasingly represented in legislative and executive leadership positions.
I can take hardship. I can sleep on the cold floor anytime. I can also sleep on a feather bed.
The U.K. and the U.S. could not have been built today without Africa’s aid. It is all the resources that were taken from Africa, including human, that built these countries today! So when they try to give back, we shouldn’t be on the defensive.
Educating our young girls is the foundation for Nigerias growth and development.
When you save the life of anyone, a farmer, a teacher, a mother, they are contributing productively into the economy.
Today, the European Union is busy transferring aid. If they can build infrastructure in Spain, roads, highways … why do they refuse to use the same aid to build the same infrastructure in our countries?
I believe that when you find problems, you should also find solutions.
[Africa] is a continent of many countries, not one country. If we are down to three or four conflicts, it means that there are plenty of opportunities to invest in stable, growing, exciting economies where there’s plenty of opportunity.
I’m trying to tell you that there’s a new wave on the continent. A new wave of openness and democratization in which, since 2000, more than two-thirds of African countries have had multi-party democratic elections. Not all of them have been perfect, or will be, but the trend is very clear.
One in four sub-Saharan Africans is Nigerian, and it has 140 million dynamic people – chaotic people – but very interesting people.
Nigeria, with the oil sector, had the reputation of being corrupt and not managing its own public finances well. So what did we try to do? We introduced a fiscal rule that de-linked our budget from the oil price.
No one can fight corruption for Nigerians except Nigerians. Everyone has to be committed from the top to the bottom to fight it.
Educating our young girls is the foundation for Nigeria’s growth and development.
Life really went backwards. My parents lost everything, all their savings, because we had to run from the Nigerian side to the Biafran side. We were Igbos.
I’m standing here saying that those who miss the boat now, will miss it forever. So if you want to be in Africa, think about investing.
If we save people from HIV/AIDS, if we save them from malaria, it means they can form the base of production for our economy.
I know what it means to go to the stream to fetch water… what it means when people are poor and don’t have enough to eat. It’s not enough to say you know about poverty. You have to live it.
I felt Nigeria didn’t have to succumb to the image of being a corrupt country; we didn’t have to let the economy stagnate.
Investing in women is smart economics, and investing in girls, catching them upstream, is even smarter economics.
From 1967 to ’70, Nigeria fought a war – the Nigeria-Biafra war. And in the middle of that war, I was 14 years old. We spent much of our time with my mother cooking. For the army – my father joined the army as a brigadier – the Biafran army. We were on the Biafran side.
When it comes to doing my job, I keep my ego in my handbag.