Okonjo-Iweala Sworn In As Finance Minister, Economy Czar
LONDON, August 17, (THEWILL) – Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been sworn-in as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Coordinator of the Economic Management team.
She was sworn-in today by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan inside the Council Chamber during today’s weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
At her brief swearing in, President Jonathan said, “For today's ceremony there is the need to make one or two statements. First let me welcome Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on board a very familiar terrain. She was here before as a Minister of Finance and then as Minister of Foreign Affairs briefly before leaving.
“Let me thank you for accepting to come and serve because considering the position you were holding at the foremost World Bank, it is difficult for you to come back to serve as Minister in a country. And I am saying this with all pride because when your name was made known and it entered the media, anywhere I went Heads of States and Governments wondered why you would even agree to come and they were appreciative of me especially the African presidents that I did well to pull you back home to help to solve the African problem because they know your worth in the world Bank.
“Let me also thank the World Bank particularly the President, Mr. Robert Zoellick for allowing you to come, for cooperating with us and promising to support us.
"Of course you also know that in the immediate past, she also introduced the idea of Economic Management Team during Obasanjo's time and we followed up, the late President Yar'Adua and myself. This time around we are expanding the Economic Team because we believe the country is one….
"Yes the states have their own economies but if there is no proper coordination in the management of the economy, between the federal government and the states we cannot go anywhere as a nation. And that is why the economic team this time around will have some governors as members but Ngozi is brought in to coordinate all economic activities of the federal government and of course by extension help the states….
"Let me also thank other ministers brought in from the diaspora, we know it is quite challenging to move from developed countries to Nigeria….
HRH, Professor Chukwuka Okonjo and wife, are greeted by daughter and Minister, Ngozi, inside the Council Chamber during her swearing in ceremony.
"Let me formerly announced to Nigerians that she (Ngozi) has accepted to serve just like any other Minister and indeed others who came from the diaspora have not asked us for dollar salary. They are going to receive salary and allowances like others in the cabinet. They are coming to serve the country and are not coming because of their personal aggrandizement.
"For you the expectation not just for Nigeria, the whole world is quite high. People expect so much from you, some people feel you have the magic wand to wave and change everything but I believe with your level of experience and with the support we will give you, and of course cooperation of your colleagues, all of you collectively will help to change our own country, you will help to work to make sure that our transformation agenda move smoothly and get to the destination expected,” Jonathan stated.