Nigerian Ex Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has declared that the recent #EndSARS protests is a reflection of Nigerian youths’ desire for more accountable and transparent leaders.

She, therefore, urged the Federal Government and other African governments to embrace open, transparent and accountable governance as the continent strives to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The former World Bank director made this known on Saturday at the 15th Convocation of Bowen University in Iwo, Osun State.

Okonjo-Iweala, who is the leading candidate for the job of director-general of the World Trade Organisation, spoke on ‘Revisiting Africa’s Economy Post-COVID-19’.

The convocation lecturer African countries including Nigeria must exercise greater caution with its rapidly increasing debt profile and to look inwards to grow capacities for their respective economies.

She said, “Africa’s young population is increasingly demanding better governance from its leaders including transparency and accountability. Nigeria’s recent #EndSARS movement is a good illustration for the desired accountability.

“A post-COVID-19 modern African economy must be anchored on these values of open, transparent and accountable governance; governance that gives youths, women and other marginalized people increased voice.

“An important aspect of accountability relates with the use of financial resources including debts. Africa needs better and more transparence of its debts. Such transparency engenders trust of citizens and facilitates better working conditions with partners.

“Africa also needs to exercise greater caution with its rapidly increasing debt profile.

“The continent cannot afford repeated circles of rapid borrowings, debt sustainability problem and please to creditors for debt restructuring and forgiveness.

“In this regard, an important aspect as Africa build back post-COVID-19 is the need to strengthen countries’ abilities and tools for improved domestic resource mobilisation.”

It was reported that thousands of Nigerian youths last month hit the roads for about three weeks to demand police reforms and better governance of the country.

The demonstrations later turned bloody as state actors attacked some of the young protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State. Rampaging hoodlums later hijacked the situation to destroy public and private assets in the country.