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The Economist — the English newspaper that referred to Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s finance minister, as “poorly qualified” eight months ago — now says she is a “tenacious minister” fixing the country’s economy.
In November 2015, The Economist said Adeosun, who has over two decades of experience in financing and capital management, had only managed one of Nigeria’s smaller states.
“However, the new finance minister, an accountant who cleaned up the books of one of Nigeria’s smaller states, is poorly qualified for the job,” The Economist had said.
But in less than a year on her job, the paper now sees Adeosun as helping Nigeria get control of its earnings.
“In an effort to fix this, a tenacious finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, has told skint governors that they must make their finances public before they receive a second federal bailout,” the newspaper said.
“She has struck thousands of ghost workers off the public payroll. Her ‘treasury single account’ (TSA) may be the biggest coup of all. It replaced a labyrinth of government piggy banks, giving Nigeria more control of its earnings.”
It added that financiers reckon that Nigeria’s TSA “could serve as a lesson to others in West Africa as well”.
The Economist further explained how President Muhammadu Buhari has been fighting corruption in Africa’s largest economy.
“Mr Buhari’s government has been learning from other crusading countries, such as Georgia. But not everyone is impressed. His political opponents, who ruled Nigeria for 16 years until 2015, call the campaign a witch-hunt.
“There are reasons to doubt the capacity of the anti-corruption agency—and of the courts—to hold the powerful to account. The EFCC is yet to send down any of its most influential adversaries, though it is splurging on training for prosecutors.
“Under new management, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has grown slightly less opaque: it now publishes monthly financial reports.”