Reforming the Unreformable
Corrupt, mismanaged, and seemingly hopeless: that’s how the international community viewed Nigeria in the early 2000s. Then Nigeria implemented a sweeping set of economic and political changes and began to reform the unreformable. This book tells the story of how a dedicated and politically committed team of reformers set out to fix a series of broken institutions, and in the process repositioned Nigeria’s economy in ways that helped create a more diversified springboard for steadier long-term growth.
The author, Harvard- and MIT-trained economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, currently Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance and formerly Managing Director of the World Bank, was a crucial player in her country’s economic reforms. In Nigeria’s Debt Management Office and later as minister of finance, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors that led to the cancellation of sixty percent of Nigeria’s external debt. Reforming the Unreformable offers an insider’s view of those debt negotiations; it also details the fight against corruption and the struggle to implement a series of macroeconomic and structural reforms.
Nigeria’s efforts can be viewed as a laboratory for other countries--not just resource-rich developing countries like Nigeria, but any country interested in reining in debt, managing volatility, saving for the future, or building credibility with debtors and investors. This story of development economics in action, written from the front lines of economic reform in Africa, offers a unique perspective on the complex and uncertain global economic environment.
About the Author
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance. From 2007 to 2011 she was Managing Director of the World Bank, overseeing activities in South Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa.
Table of Contents
- Reforming the Unreformable
- Reforming the Unreformable
- Lessons from Nigeria
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
- The MIT Press
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- London, England
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
- All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
- MIT Press books may be purchased at special quantity discounts for business or sales promotional use. For information, please email email@example.com or write to Special Sales Department, The MIT Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, MA 02142.
- Set in Palatino by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
- Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
- Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi.
- Reforming the unreformable : lessons from Nigeria / Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
- p. cm.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- ISBN 978-0-262-01814-2 (hbk. : alk. paper)
- 1. Nigeria—Economic policy. 2. Nigeria—Economic conditions—1970– 3. Corruption—Nigeria. I. Title.
- HC1055.O3924 2012
- 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
- for Adaora “the Adorable,” so she might know Nigeria
- Preface ix
- Acknowledgments xi
- 1 Setting the Stage for Reform 1
- 2 Advancing Macroeconomic Reforms 19
- 3 Promoting Privatization, Deregulation, and Liberalization 35
- 4 Launching Other Structural Reforms 51
- 5 Fighting Corruption 81
- 6 Obtaining Debt Relief 95
- 7 Reflections on the Reforms and Lessons for Reformers 119
- 8 Conclusions and a Look Forward 133
- Appendix: Figures and Tables 145
- Notes 181
- References 185
- About the Author 189
- Index 191
"This insider's account of the valiant attempt to reform Nigeria's economy will inspire anyone committed to changing the course of their country."
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, 2001
'This extremely informative and thought-provoking book provides a masterful account of the interplay of technical economic management and political will constrained by vested interest in undertaking transformative reforms in developing countries. Every page speaks to the Liberian experience in microcosm. This will be required reading by the Cabinet and students in our institutions of higher learning. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala remains a courageous champion for sound economic management and performance."
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia
"Just as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala forces open budget processes, these pages force open our eyes to the complexities of political life in Nigeria. Throughout her incarnations as the corruption cop, finance minister, tough decision maker, and managing director she has been and remains a great friend and an inspiring mentor. This is an essential guidebook for reformers everywhere."
"An important book which incisively reveals what the real barriers to development are, and the political constraints to removing them. Inspiring and compulsory reading for development scholars and practitioners."
James Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government, Harvard University