Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nigerian Finance Minister-designate, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, to Assume Portfolio in August

Finance Minister-designate, Okonjo-Iweala, Assumes Duty in August

Sunday, 24 July 2011 00:00 From Martins Oloja. Abuja Bureau Chief News

FINANCE Minister-designate, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is generally expected to head the economic management (transformation) team of President Jonathan’s new government will not be able to join the federal executive council until the middle of August, and this is official.

In an email conversation last weekend on her assumption of duty in Nigeria, where the Senate has confirmed her as a minister, the World Bank managing director confirmed to The Guardian that she would be in Nigeria by the middle of August when she would have sorted out her disengagement from the World Bank to assume duty in Nigeria.

Although the World Bank President, Mr Robert Zoellick, has announced the appointment of Dr (Mrs) Okonjo-Iweala as Minister in Nigeria, she cannot disengage in a disruptive manner without giving proper notice to the global bank, where she rose, as a young officer, after graduating from MIT, to the top as Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank Group before joining the Obasanjo government in 2003, as Finance Minister.

Her words: “Thank you...It won’t be easy, but hope to do my best. I hope to start mid-August once I sort out my notice period at the World Bank...NOI”.

When the last set of ministers were sworn in her absence, the Special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, had told inquisitive State House correspondents that the World Bank chief had returned to Washington D.C to clear her tables in readiness to assume duty in Nigeria. But it was not clear then how long it would take for her to return to Nigeria.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala had, during a workshop on Public Service Reforms at the State House Banquet Hall in 2005, publicly decried public officers’ poor grasp of English Grammar in observance of protocol.

She had then observed that “may we be up-standing?” depicted wrong use of grammar in asking people to stand up to herald the arrival of senior officers. She noted that we can simplify the procedure by merely asking people to welcome the officers and they would automatically stand up without being asked to be “up-standing,” as often used in churches and official functions.

The Guardian had, on Sunday, published an exclusive report on Okonjo-Iweala’s views on the expediency of “sense of urgency” and the pursuits of MDGs as an instrument of human capital development.

In the report, it was revealed how the challenge of development in Nigeria would rest squarely on her shoulders.

No comments: