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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Should Reject Ministerial Position
Thursday, 07 July 2011 16:16

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Should Reject Ministerial Position

Written by Emeka Chiakwelu

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Should Reject Ministerial Position

The government of President Jonathan is in the process of appointing cabinet ministers. Many of the old faces are busy clamouring for one position or another, but Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in particular is being persuaded and wooed to come back based on merit and a history of achievement. The former Minister of Finance and the present Managing Director of World Bank - Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala-needs no introduction for she is the golden appointment that will enhance the presidential cabinet. Her presence in the president's cabinet will bring a comfort level, credibility and dignity that the country needs in the financial world and globalized economy.

When Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is referred as an international financial superstar that is not an overstatement, neither is it pandering to sycophancy. Her fame in Nigeria and beyond is based on concrete achievement and verifiable merit. Her superior educational qualification and training she obtained from prestigious Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is not only what made her an outstanding intellectual and a model citizen of Nigeria; but in addition she has a compelling track record as a technocrat and problem solving over-achiever.

The hard work she put on securing the 18 percent debt write-off and Nigeria's settlement of debts from both Paris and London Clubs of Creditors speaks for itself. Many of us disagreed not with the final exit from the debt but with methodological process and procedure employed by the creditors to arrive at the said debt. For in the final analysis the payment of the big sum of money to these international institutions that used nail crushing interest rates and arrears to arrive at the large debt that Nigeria owned may not be conducive for a country that has overwhelming poverty in her midst.

That notwithstanding, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did her job by making the best of the moment and saved Nigeria from further higher debt and the mortgaging of the country's financial standing and the financial future of our posterity. She was given a job to do and she did it excellently. And for that Nigerians are grateful to her.

According to the reverberating news on pages of newspaper, her coming back as minister of finance is almost a done deal except that the issues of dollar/naira compensation package and depth of assignment portfolio are receiving finishing touches, therefore holding back the announcement of her appointment.

(R) Dr. Okonjo-Iweala & Afripol's Emeka Chiakwelu at World Affairs conference

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a woman of intellectual substance and prudence, and she is not likely to solicit an advice from anybody outside her circle of relation and sphere of influence. Okonjo-Iweala should say no to this appointment because her second coming maybe her stumbling block. The manner she departed from the last position she held was not comforting and in way it was not ceremonial. She came to former President Obsanjo's administration as a finance minister. Later she was transferred to foreign ministry and that was the position she held before she resigned in a foreign land as she was conducting diplomatic business for Nigeria.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala because of her straight forwardness and transparency of conducting the affairs of her ministerial positions has acquired friends and foes. The later that are in high places with considerable power in media have not give up in throwing her good in the mud. This time around they will not wait for her to make any mistake before they will find her guilty in the pages of newspapers.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has both fame and fortune. Does she need the headache of cabinet minister?

A good name is a treasure and once it is compromised, it will be difficult to be reclaimed and re-cultivate. The implication is that the global respect she has worked her to earn and garnish will dissipate in the wind. But this is her decision to be made.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala can still serve her fatherland not just only by holding a cabinet minister position but by also becoming an adviser to President Jonathan; as she was to Obasanjo's administration before she was appointed a minister, on the matters of finance and economics. Even in that capacity she can accomplish a lot without having detractors and professional critic to question any policy advise she gives to the president in private.

Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal policy Strategist at Afripol. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL).







Last modified on Friday, 08 July 2011 13:50

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