Nigeria's Incompetent Economic Team Nmutaka's Paranoiac Pen

by Odilim Enwegbara

If warming up my pen causes these panics, what happens when it is in full blast?

Vulgar, angry, and paranoiac are the least way to describe his personality bashing, when he said, ”Femi Fani-Kayode should stop ventilating his ill-digested and inchoate viewpoint on….Okonjo-Iweala…in an article in which he described the woman as unfeeling. This is philistinism. [W]ell-meaning Nigerians should avoid being contaminated by [him].” Pouring such venom on Femi Fani-Kayode for daring to say, “In my view, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the problem….She serves the interest of the IMF and the World Bank more than she does the interest of the Nigerian people”?

Another venom, ”As one of the cohort sworn to prevent the MD of the World Bank from returning to the Federal Cabinet, is it not because Mohammed Haruna is laden with inertia and lacks the necessary instruments for determining the impact of this particular economic policy…? So much ordure from a middling pen pusher who ran many a media organization aground only to mount a media success story established by another person and use it for fanning the embers of intrigue and subversion.”

Point of correction! The World Bank has a President not an MD. Its subsidiaries have MDs, which Okonjo-Iweala was MD of one them, World Bank Institute, a position earlier occupied (2000 -2004) by a South African woman, Mamphela Aletta Ramphele. Other subsidiaries include: Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency with Yukiko Omura as MD, and IFC with Lars Thunell as MD (EVP).

Uche Nmutaka fits into Plato’s men with intemperate and effusive behavior. He joined Aristotle’s ”men of untamed excesses whose lack of moderation comes with habitual wantonness, immature arrogance, and above all, lack of noble virtue.” My advice to Fani-Kayode and Haruna is the same Plato’s and Aristotle’s advice, which is, this is a genuinely sick man, who needs our sincere ”sympathy.”

Given his deserving sympathy, my response to his March 13, 2013 piece on page 35 of Thisday is only for record purposes, which I’ve divided into six paranoiacs.

Paranoiac One: ”Because of the tragedies of Nigeria is that, oftentimes, the laughable is mixed with the downright serious and utterly ridiculous, it’s difficult to determine whether this Odilim Basil Enwegbara was paid to play the clown or whether the newspaper was experiencing difficulties filling pages with sensible material[s].”

Well, the article he’s calling laughable has since circled the world more than ten times. For his information here’re some of the leading newspapers, magazine, and online publishers who published it:;…/0cJy1xW8ty3Qa – United States

Paranoiac Two: ”Well, MIT is the globally recognized acronym for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The last time we checked, this internationally famous tertiary institution was still located in Cambridge, MA, where it’s founded in 1861. Is Enwegbara actually MIT-trained? We expected computer search engines to throw some light on this guy’s MIT antecedents. We drew a blank. Why is it so?”

It’s because you’re a computer illiterate. Instead of long grammar exchanges, here’re links to my two MIT these, theses already turned into books:

• DSpace@MIT: The Niger Delta conflict and the irony of invisible …, Enwegbara, Basil Odilimson, en_US … dc.description, Thesis (S.M.)–Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies …

• Africa Institute of Technology – Basil Odilimson Enwegbara – Google ……/Africa_Institute_of_Technology.html?id…Title, Africa Institute of Technology. Author, Basil Odilimson Enwegbara. Publisher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, …
I think it would be interesting also for Nmutaka to know, however, that I wasn’t that Nigerian, who having applied to Harvard and MIT Economics Departments for a PhD and rejected, had to study a PhD at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, which is more of policy with practically nothing about finance and heavy economics. That Nigerian who specialized in name calling—racists and sexists—as a way have the person’s way, but the ploy failed recently to help the person become president of one of those western banks.

Paranoiac Three: ”If Enwegbara is so antipathetic to western education, why is he upfront with brandishing his MIT pedigree with a placard?”

My reasons are obvious. First, writing a research policy column attracts attention of international audience, who expectedly have to contact me (some already contacted me) to further discuss issues I raised. Don’t forget, internationally circulated newspapers like the New York Times and Financial Times do require your intro otherwise they’ll not publish you. Second, isn’t it evident that vulgar writers like Nmutaka would have asked for my head for daring talk where Ivy League educated Nigerians talk? Finally, I wanted Nigerians to be assured of my insider knowledge.

But did I advertise that I graduated first class in architecture, or that I’d four master’s degrees: architecture (distinction), development economics (distinction); development planning (4.8/5.0 GP); and management of technology and finance (4.1/5.0)?

Or have I ever publicly referred as the first black student to become a columnist as well as an editorial board member of MIT’s prestigious The Tech? Please see: Or announcing having been showered with numerous MIT Scholarships? Have I publicly said that I was a teaching assistant to Professor Thurow’s popular ‘Macro-International Economics Course’ or participated in the writing of his famous book, ‘Fortune Favors the Bold’?…

Paranoiac Four: ”Enwegbara apparently believes in winning arguments through throwing tantrums…the truth must be told by citing world-renowned authorities. … Fitch raised Nigeria’s rating BB- Negative to BB-Stable, S&P raised the country’s rating from B+ to BB- Stable….The World Bank Voice Enhancement Program places Nigeria among the 16 country’s of the world whose voce has been increased. The above ratings validate our macroeconomic achievements.”

Since when have some imperial organizations headquartered 10,000 km away from Nigeria become the ones to measure our development? Isn’t it a tragedy of immense proportion that our economic team always placards ratings assigned to us from New York? If they’ve to assign these numbers to us, what about the accompanying job numbers? Why they missing from these ratings? Let’s not forget that we’re talking about the same rating agencies that continued giving a clean bill of health to our comatose banking industry even to the point when some banks were giving up the ghost in 2009.

Shouldn’t Nmutaka understand that any country selling averagely 2.5 million barrels of oil daily should be experiencing growth without even the government doing anything? Also he should know that since Okonjo-Iweala came back from the World Bank, all she has done so far is to implement the World Bank and IMF style of neoliberal economics based on fiscal consolidation, which is fiscal austerity; fiscal austerity means anti-growth and anti-jobs policy.

Fellow Nigerians, it’s also tragedy that this incompetent economic team is not ashamed of accepting ratings handed to us by organizations wrapped around the US National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM200); a US foreign policy hegemony which since it’s signed into law in November 1975 by President Gerald Ford, has been used by the CIA, CFR, USAID, State Department, Rockefeller F

oundation, as well as Fitch, Moody’s and S&P to constantly undermine Nigeria’s economic emergence and rise as a regional power. Understandably, there’s no way member of the economic team should have been familiar with this chessboard game.

Paranoiac Five: Enwegbara is ” Self-acclaimed money and financial matters expert.”

Self-acclaimed? Maybe I needed you to assign it to me? If my master’s degree in Management of Technology and Finance from MIT, and my over ten years’ intense research work and publications in the field are insufficient, then, please tell me where to go to qualify.

Paranoiac Six: ”In all of this, one lesson: Nigeria has had to deal with far too much confusion over time. An additional confusion in the form of this Enwegbara fellow is nothing short of overkill.”

Why not, when I’m fighting the status quo? Why not, when I’m publicly denouncing the economic team’s refusal to think outside the box? Talking about something as complex as geopolitical economic calculus, shouldn’t people like Nmutaka who lack basic geopolitical economic arithmetic find what I’m say confusing?

In other words, why shouldn’t what I say cause confusion the same way Democritus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (460 BC- 370 BC), caused confusion with his atom theory that everything — including humans — was made of atoms instead of by gods of Olympus, even to the extent that great Greek philosophers like Plato wished all his 70 books were burned? Didn’t it take more than 2,350 years for his theory to be believed?

If the then ‘larger-than-life’ Professor Lawrence Summers, could be disgraced out of office as the Harvard University President and later denied Treasury Secretary post by Obama in 2008, because of this piece, ”Toxic Colonialism: Lawrence Summers and Let Africans Eat Pollution’ by Basil Enwegbara:… pollution/toxic-… it_n_141231_17687307.html…, isn’t the economic team’s apprehension of the impending incalculable collateral damage my pen understandable?

Welcoming her on October 4, 2007 to head World Bank Institute, the Bank’s President Mr. Robert B. Zoellick said, ”From 2003-2006, Ngozi served as Nigeria’s Finance minister and subsequently Minister of Foreign Affairs.…She led Nigeria’s quest for debt relief and obtained… $18 billion write-off from the Paris Club for her country [and with these experiences she has all it takes to lead the WBI team].”

How come no mention was made of her 21 years at the Bank prior to Nigeria? Was it out of omission? Or, because minister in Nigeria was her first real world job experience?

If it’s her Nigerian experience that won her the World Bank Institute MD job, then, wasn’t her return to the same job in 2011 used as a platform for contesting the 2012 World Bank Presidency? Given her excessive ambition to one day becoming the Bank’s boss, shouldn’t her present job be used be her to prepare for the Bank’s Presidency once Jim Yong Kim’s tenure expires on June 30, 2017?

Let me reconfirm it here. I’m writing on behave of disenfranchised Nigerians. I’m writing to bring to the attention of those in government that millions of our frustrated youth and their powerless parents have nowhere else to look up than their government. It’s their right that the government does all it can to help them realize their life dreams. Those members of our economic team who’ve their children fulfilling their big dreams in America should know that Nigerian parents too want the same opportunities for their own children here in Nigeria.

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