Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala defends economy on Facebook, Twitter

dr okonjo iwealaThe Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has taken to major social networking sites to defend the state of the economy.

She’s doing this via Facebook and Twitter.

There have been scathing remarks on the alleged weak state of the economy, for which some people called for her resignation.

But Okonjo-Iweala has since upped her social media activity and has been reeling out statistics to back up her claims that the economy is performing reasonably well.

Commenting on the state of the economy, Okonjo-Iweala, in a banner she posted on her Facebook page, said the Nigerian economy was achieving “strong results.”

She argued, “Over 2.5 million ‘seasonal’, and full-time jobs have been created. When I say seasonal for example, in rice, 460, 000 of the jobs created were seasonal. But, overall, 2.5 million jobs have been created.”

However, her several explanations on the state of the economy have failed to placate many Nigerians, especially her followers on social media.

Okonjo-Iweala’s critics, who have since moved to social media, contest that the impact of the economic policies being championed under her supervision remains largely on paper.

Those who visited her Facebook page lamented that they were tired of her rhetorics about the improved state of the economy, which, according to them, is not being felt by the common man.

A Facebook user, Obi St-Nwaorah, wrote on Okonjo-Iweala’s Facebook page, that the realities on ground showed that the economy was far from doing as well as she had painted it.

Nwaorah accused the minister of creating “jobs on paper,” adding that what the masses need is to see themselves in good, paid employment rather than the lip service government is paying to employment generation.

He said, “I appeal to Okonjo-Iweala and her cohorts to stop saying things that are not true.  Agriculture has gone from bad to worse within the last six years, dollar has risen from N114 to N162 in six years and unemployment has increased drastically and yet you (Okonjo-Iweala) tell us the economy is improving.

“It is becoming provoking. Who is fooling who? Schools are closed down and nothing tangible is being done. Fuel price was increased last year and we were promised palliatives, please where are they?

“My prayer is, one day, we Nigerians will stand up and hunt you people and your families for the wrongs and suffering you have brought to us.”

Another visitor on Okonjo-Iweala’s Facebook page, Okpole Brown, who described her as the “strong woman of the Jonathan administration”, said he was tired of being bombarded with figures that were not translating to results.

Brown said, “You have again reeled out indices that portray the economy as buoyant, but over 68 per cent of Nigerians are still living below the poverty line, and university students are out of school as a result of strike.

“Doctors are also on strike, unemployment is growing. So, what is the meaning of all these long economic analyses when it has not impacted on the common man and there is no hope it will ever get to him? God is watching.”

“How did you come up with this figure? Because if such number of jobs were created, the effect on the unemployment figure will be seen and felt. For me, this is just mere statistics,” one Kenneth Nwanekwu wrote on her Facebook page.

A Twitter follower of the minister with the name Yuram, said the rate at which prices of goods, especially consumer items, were skyrocketing, putting a strain on the earnings of the masses lends credence to the reality that the statistics she reeled out were far from reality.

“You just don’t get it. Poverty is seriously on the increase and you have to do something fast, please skip the statistics you are relying on because it is not going to help matters,” Yuram tweeted.

However, amid the bashing she received, some of those following her regular updates online say they appreciate her efforts geared towards carrying them along as regards the state of the economy on social media.

One Charles Chinedu-Mottoh wrote, “Ride on Madam. This is real accountability; updating the public with the economic situations of the nation and not for the purpose of blowing one’s own trumpet is desirable.”

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