WHY I ACCEPTED THE JOB -OKONJO-IWEALA
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday assumed office as Minister of Finance, saying that she accepted to serve Nigeria again because of the passion she has for the country. Addressing the directors of the ministry on assumption of office, she told them that she came to implement the president's agenda of creating jobs.
To this effect, she revealed to them that her administration would be anchored on three key words: Effectiveness, Efficiency and Delivery.
While soliciting their support, she assured them that every individual in the ministry was important and matters a lot and so with close collaboration with the staff, the ministry would achieve the expected result.
The minister also noted that the staff could be champions and geniuses, but if they don't work together, they could not win a match.
'If we are all brilliant and at the end of the day nobody wins a match it is useless,' she said. Okonjo-Iweala explained that she accepted to come down because she loves Nigeria with a passion.
'It is a work of all Nigerians. There is no magic to it. It is a lot of work. But Ministry of Finance is going to be the ministry of excellence. I am very demanding. It is about execution. If we are at the centre, it means we have to work in close collaboration. We will have to work together,' she said.
Welcoming her to the ministry, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, recalled the closest he had been to Okonjo-Iweala was when he went to the United States for a conference and the minister, who was then the managing director of World Bank was there. But because of her exalted position, he was not allowed to see her.
'So, for her to have left the lures of that office to come to Nigeria where there is power failure, lack of drinkable water, is a demonstration of her humility,' he said.
Also speaking, Director, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, in addition to congratulating her reminded the minister that she had more challenges now than when she served the ministry earlier. He also reminded the her that expectations were very high but the challenges would take some time to fizzle out, noting, however, that the good thing was that the ministry had started on a sound footing.