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Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister - Politics - Nairaland

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Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 2:55pm On Jun 24, 2011
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Okonjo-Iweala set to be named as economic czar

By Terfa Tilley-Gyado
June 24, 2011 06:34AM

As the president puts finishing touches to his list of cabinet nominees Thursday evening, close aides say the president has decided to name Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as finance minister and economic czar.

In the position, not unlike the role she played as finance minister and chairman of the presidential economic team under Olusegun 0basanjo, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is expected to be a kind of super-minister with wide swathes over the economy.

Talks had recently stalled after Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, currently a managing director at World Bank, demanded greater executive powers and responsibility in the new administration. In an effort to secure her services, President Jonathan has designed a new State House organogram which fulfils her requirements. Her proposed designation satisfies one of the key conditions for the World Bank managing director, who is now poised to return to her old stomping grounds in Abuja.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala brings star power to President Jonathan’s cabinet, about the only real dramatic senior appointment he has so far proposed.

But her anticipated role is believed to be causing anxiety in circles around Mr Jonathan, a larger than life outsider who is almost certain to overwhelm many of the lesser known aides around the president.

“Many of the president’s close aides and some politicians are certainly quite worried about her,” said one source close to the president.

However, President Jonathan has ignored the last minute opposition and, barring any last minute wrangles, he is expected to submit his list of cabinet nominees to the senate this afternoon, almost four weeks after his inauguration. Although the official list has not yet been released, several individuals, including a substantial chunk of former ministers, have undergone security screening in the past few weeks ahead of potential nomination.

Old faces

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is one of many old faces returning to the new executive lineup. Bello Haliru Mohammed, the acting chairman of the PDP, is also in line for a role in Mr Jonathan’s cabinet. Mr Mohammed was so assured of his nomination that he prepared his exit notes yesterday for handover. His replacement as PDP chair is expected to be Bamanga Tukur and an announcement could be made as early as next week.

Mr Mohammed, a former communications minister under Mr Obasanjo, was one of several high profile Nigerians that were implicated by a German court in the Siemens scandal in 2007. The court accused Mr Mohammed of accepting two instalments of €70,000 in bribes, a charge that he later denied.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is set to be joined by other returning ministers like: Diezani Alison-Madueke, Godsday Orubebe, Odein Ajumogobia, Bala Mohammed, Chukwemeka Wogu, Labaran Maku, Ruqqayatu Rufai and Caleb Olubolade. Yusuf Suleiman, former transport minister, is also in contention for a ministerial return.

After the president writes the Senate, it is expected that ministerial screening will move to the top of the agenda when the upper chamber resumes next week Tuesday.

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5721053-146/story.csp
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 2:58pm On Jun 24, 2011
God bless this woman. This is the only good news I have heard from Jonathan in a while.

This woman should be Nigeria's president!
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by namfav(m): 3:08pm On Jun 24, 2011
good for her

nigeria president? as obj said, i dey laugh
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Chyz2: 4:02pm On Jun 24, 2011
Okonjo-Iweala Drops Jumbo Salary Request, Makes Demand For Jumbo Ministry


Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan's intention to appoint Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala continues to create intrigues in Abuja just as she has reportedly dropped her demands over pay.  

But she has raised a new request:  the merging of the Finance and National Planning ministries into one under her leadership, Saharareporters has learned.

As the intrigues over her proposed appointment mount alongside intense pressure on Mr. Jonathan by lobbyists of every colour, Empowered Newswire has reported that previous discussions of dollar-denominated salary for Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala may have hit a legal brickwall because of a 2007 Court of Appeal ruling that declared the previous dollar salary structure paid Okonjo-Iweala and Mr. Olu Adeniji (who she would later succeed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Obasanjo administration) was an illegality. Both Ministers were ordered to refund the excess salaries paid them.

In that ruling, the Court of Appeal said such a dollar salary was an illegality even if the salary differential wass paid by an organization such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which was reportedly   involved in the payment of the controversial dollar salary at that time.

After dropping the initial demand for a jumbo pay, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala is said to have have demanded that in addition to merging the Ministries of Finance and National Planning into a single entity, she wanted to be given the freedom to formulate and control Nigeria's fiscal and monetary policies during her tenure as Minister.  She has also reportedly a free hand to choose all the members of Jonathan's economic team members in and outside of thegovernment.

Officials in the US also confirmed yesterday that Mr. Jonathan had always shown keen interest in at least two of Nigeria’s top officials at the World Bank: Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and Ms Oby Ezekwesili, wanting them to return to the government as ministers in charge of some critical portfolios.  Both former ministers played prominent roles in Obasanjo’s economic reform team.

But only one of them, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has been more forthcoming about returning to her old position as federal minister apart from her request for a differential salary which ignited a controversy within the government from the outset.  Some presidency officials are irked by her brazen requests, with one of them describing her as being too ambitious and wanting to run a parallel government in order to bolster her political ambition to run for president in 2015.  Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has not indicated such an ambition.

Those who opposed the request for a dollar-salary for any federal minister point out that since the controversy that greeted the dollar salary that former president Olusegun Obasanjo approved for the Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala and Chief Adeniji, other foreign-based Nigerians have been named to the cabinet without being paid  dollar salaries.

They cite Olusegun Aganga, Nigeria's most recent Minister of Finance.  Mr. Aganga, it was learned yesterday, neither asked for nor enjoyed a dollar-denominated salary.

Before his appointment as finance minister by Jonathan, Aganga was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in London. Incidentally, Mr. Aganga, who was described as cocky and colorless by a presidency official, is unlikely to return to the cabinet, especially if the FG strikes an agreement with Okonjo-Iweala.

Others critics of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala's conditions for accepting a ministerial position say some  Nigerian ministers who formerly worked in top US schools and institutions  did not receive dollar salaries from the Obasanjo administration.  One such person is Ms. Ezekwesili, who worked with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard before being named by Obasanjo as Senior Special Assistant.  She created and managed the successful Due Process Unit of the presidency, from which she became Solid Minerals minister, and then education minister.

It would be recalled that former FCT Minister Nasir Rufai was instrumental, by his own personal disclosure at a New York event in 2004, to the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala as minister and the approval of a dollar salary for her at that time.

President Jonathan is said to be interested in including technocrats in his administration for two reasons:  to keep the international goodwill and endorsement that followed his recent election, especially from some strategic and friendly Western nations and governments.



A US diplomatic source said that friendly western leaders had hoped that Jonathan would constitute his cabinet early enough as he had promised so that he would be able to beat the current political fights and jostling from his party members.

One of the sources said "we had hoped he would name his cabinet on day one of his new term," because as the source explained,  Jonathan gave the impression to some western leaders during his recent international outing of strong determination to make real change happen in Nigeria.

A diplomatic source also told Empowered Newswire yesterday that the delay in naming the cabinet, about a month now since the president was inaugurated, and the reported names of the politicians dominating leaked versions of the list, are all being closely watched by western diplomats in Nigeria as well as officials in their home capitals.

Commenting on the dollar salary controversy, Dr Baba Adam, a public commentator, said: “Anyone in Diaspora deserves what they are earning in their current positions outside Nigeria.  We understand the skill-set many of us in Diaspora can bring to Nigeria, however, it is very bad for anyone in Diaspora to knowingly request the Nigerian President who swore to defend the Nigerian Constitution to violate the Nigerian Constitution and/or disrespect a Court ruling by paying their salary in dollars or any other currency."

In a statement released earlier in the US, Adam noted, “We strongly urge Nigerians in Diaspora who are willing to go back to serve in any position to accept the Nigerian salary remunerations prescribed by law.  After all Minister's salary and allowance is thousand times the earning of an average Nigerian.  After their service, Nigerians in Diaspora, if they wish can return to their jobs and earn their Diaspora jumbo salary."

Based on a legal suit filed by the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the Court of Appeal in Abuja in July 2007 granted the reliefs he sought in the case including:

*A declaration that the purported authorization by the President to the effect that the salaries of Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and External Affairs Minister, Mr Olufemi Adeniji be paid in foreign currencies was unconstitutional and amounted to an abuse of office;

*A declaration that the yearly salary of USD247,000 (about N36 million) being paid to the 3rd defendant, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala , the Federal Minister of Finance is a flagrant violation of Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances , etc) Act No 6 of 2002 which prescribes a yearly salary of N794,085.00 for every Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

*A declaration that the yearly salary of USD120,000 (about N17 million) being paid to the 4th defendant Ambassador Olufemi Adeniji, Federal Minister for External Affairs is a flagrant violation of Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) Act No. 6 of 2002 which prescribes a yearly salary of N794,085.00 for every Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and

*An order compelling the 3rd and 4th defendants to stop the Federal Government of Nigeria, its agents, servants, privies or howsoever called particularly the 1st defendant from paying Ministers or any other public officers covered by certain political, public and judicial office holders’ salaries and allowances etc Act No 6 of 2002 outside the salaries prescribed in the said Act.

Chief Fawehinmi also contended that besides the jumbo salaries and allowances being paid in foreign currency, the illegality involved the point that the payment of the salaries into the foreign accounts of the Ministers contradicted the provision of the Code of Conduct for public officers which frowns against maintenance of foreign accounts while holding public office.

He further contended that the approval of different  salary scales for the two ex-ministers offended an Act of the National Assembly tagged “Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) Act No 6 of 2002, which prescribed the yearly salary of N794,085.00 for every minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The court then asked the former ministers to refund the money paid.


^^^very thoughtful and smart idea by Aunty Ngozi if it is true. smiley
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by OAM4J: 5:34pm On Jun 24, 2011
Thread cleaned! No more insults please.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Mtnaija(f): 5:53pm On Jun 24, 2011
^^ Was i the one that started the trouble? Was my insult toward NGOZI offence or are you guys having a hidding rules here?
Whatever! Don't expect me not to reply insult toward my people.

Okay. *chyz
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by enyojo(f): 5:59pm On Jun 24, 2011
I CAN'T BUT LIKE THIS WOMAN
I PRAY THAT BY 2015 THE LEAST SHE WILL BE IS VICE-PRESIDENT!!
Her state is so blessed with so many Eggheads.

Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 6:05pm On Jun 24, 2011
enyojo:

I CAN'T BUT LIKE THIS WOMAN
I PRAY THAT BY 2015 THE LEAST SHE WILL BE IS VICE-PRESIDENT!!
Her state is so blessed with so many Eggheads.

Why wouldn't anyone not like this woman?

She could be Nigeria's Iron Lady. And she is not afraid of anyone.

Aunty Ngozi is our Ellen Johnson Sirleaf!
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by OAM4J: 6:09pm On Jun 24, 2011
I just hope Jonathan and PDP will not rubbish her reputation. I respect her a lot. She is a presidential material.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 6:12pm On Jun 24, 2011
OAM4J:

I just hope Jonathan and PDP will not rubbish her reputation. I respect her a lot. She is a presidential material.

Well at least we agree about that. smiley
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by dempeople(m): 6:48pm On Jun 24, 2011
@OAM4J,

O se!

I was beginning to wonder (and indeed, was hesitant to comment at first) why anyone would have a problem with the appointment of such an internationally accomplished woman of economical expertise who has decided to help the government salvage what they can of the economy.

Kudos and more grease to your elbow.  wink
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by OAM4J: 7:04pm On Jun 24, 2011
^IMO, the woman is far more competent than our sitting president. I wish the president can be made a ceremonial president whose job should only be to read prepared speeches and allow this woman to run government.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by 1025: 7:09pm On Jun 24, 2011
can't jonathan for the sake of the poor masses of this country hand over to this woman so that she can change things in this country.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 7:10pm On Jun 24, 2011
OAM4J:

^IMO, the woman is far more competent than our sitting president. I wish the president can be made a ceremonial president whose job should only be to read prepared speeches and allow this woman to run government.

1025:

can't jonathan for the sake of the poor masses of this country hand over to this woman so that she can change things in this country.

God bless you all. She probably knows how to tackle the Boko Haram problem better than our clueless president.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by naso2(m): 7:27pm On Jun 24, 2011
1025:

can't jonathan for the sake of the poor masses of this country hand over to this woman so that she can change things in this country.

While i am equally excited about her return, I want us to manage our expectations. Her economic school largely believes in the removal of subsidies from products like petrol and you and I know the average Nigerian hate to hear that.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by dempeople(m): 7:43pm On Jun 24, 2011
OAM4J:

^IMO, the woman is far more competent than our sitting president.

Agreed, 100%.

OAM4J:

I wish the president can be made a ceremonial president whose job should only be to read prepared speeches and allow this woman to run government.

1025:

can't jonathan for the sake of the poor masses of this country hand over to this woman so that she can change things in this country.

With her (smart) demand for the merging of the financial and national planning ministries into one entity plus, other demands she has made from GEJ of which he agreed, she's already in line to run the show. Her appointment is the only reason why I still have a believe in GEJ's transformation agenda. Another important person who I expected to play a role in this government is Ezekwesili. Other key appointments would be in the likes of Mansur Muktar, Prof. Ruggayatu and Soludo.


EzeUche!:

God bless you all. She probably knows how to tackle the Boko Haram problem better than our clueless president.

grin grin grin
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by OAM4J: 7:50pm On Jun 24, 2011
dem_people:

Agreed, 100%.

With her (smart) demand for the merging of the financial and national planning ministries into one entity plus, other demands she has made from GEJ of which he agreed, she's already in line to run the show. Her appointment is the only reason why I still have a believe in GEJ's transformation agenda. Another important person who I expected to play a role in this government is Ezekwesili. Other key appointments would be in the likes of Mansur Muktar, Prof. Ruggayatu and Soludo.


grin grin grin

There will be hope for Jonathan and naija if those people make his cabinet.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by ZnO: 7:52pm On Jun 24, 2011
Nwanyi Igbo, ana'm ekele gi! grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Musiwa42: 8:19pm On Jun 24, 2011
there is no oil from satellite in abia state , which is her husband state of origin, but she kept on paying abia state oil derivation. I laugh in Igbo.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 8:21pm On Jun 24, 2011
Musiwa,.:

there is no oil from satellite in abia state , which is her husband state of origin, but she kept on paying abia state oil derivation. I laugh in Igbo.

There is oil in Abia state in the Ukwa areas. But that is another topic.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by ZnO: 8:22pm On Jun 24, 2011
If Abia is not oil-bearing, why is it among the nine oil-producing states? Musiwa and his dreams.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by namfav(m): 8:47pm On Jun 24, 2011
i think that sanusi is a better candidate for presidency from all the economists in nigeria, just listen to when he speaks, when ngozi was minister of foreign affairs she didn't do too much right and showed little authority she ran the ministry like a kitchen, sulking is not a good trait in politics, dr mansour is also a good shout for future presidency, by the way thesemen are way younger than her another older head that i would settle with is shamsuddeen just for his honesty and his authority, nigeria is not liberia, we are not ready for a female president, yet
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Musiwa42: 8:49pm On Jun 24, 2011
show us from satellite.  you cant make statement without prove. even the amount paid to imo and abia state. is too much , 

and I doubt if she understand what longitude and latitude is?  The way her ministry allocated the oil derivation shows, her geography has problem.

I think she never find out how much oil each state produced. she just gave them numbers based on state she like or not.



she was only trying to help her husband people in abia state by making the claim. she was just been emotional

I laugh in zebrudaya english.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 9:07pm On Jun 24, 2011
namfav:

i think that sanusi is a better candidate for presidency from all the economists in nigeria, just listen to when he speaks, when ngozi was minister of foreign affairs she didn't do too much right and showed little authority she ran the ministry like a kitchen, sulking is not a good trait in politics, dr mansour is also a good shout for future presidency, by the way thesemen are way younger than her another older head that i would settle with is shamsuddeen just for his honesty and his authority, nigeria is not liberia, we are not ready for a female president, yet

The world thinks otherwise. cool
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by hallmark77: 9:12pm On Jun 24, 2011
@Ezeuche,The world actually thinks otherwise!This woman was part of the group that stimulated our economy when Obj was in power.With her in charge of our economy then good faith await the stock market and our banking sector.Sanusi Ko Salami Ni.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by kabba7(m): 9:14pm On Jun 24, 2011
Look as if we might run 2 govts one by SS D other by SE will Be interesting!
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Ndipe(m): 9:19pm On Jun 24, 2011
What was her role in the Obj's regime?
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by EzeUche1(m): 9:21pm On Jun 24, 2011
Now we need to rid of Sanusi before he messes up the banking sector with this Islamic banking.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by tit(f): 9:24pm On Jun 24, 2011
it is good yaradua and jonah have spent all the foreign reserve if not she will dash it to paris club again.
dang! heads, we lose, tails, they win!

but she is about better than most anybody else including the mofo that was there earlier.
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Toaskarity(m): 9:26pm On Jun 24, 2011
EzeUche!:

Now we need to rid of Sanusi before he messes up the banking sector with this Islamic banking.
i would like him to rename it! thats all!  as for using it to fund north,that one is impossible cos the workers will be dominated by the south as well or else it fell grin
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by seanet02: 9:29pm On Jun 24, 2011
A good candidate. Let just hope she is not frustrated out like the clueless OBJ did
Re: Aunty Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set To Be Named As Finance Minister by Toaskarity(m): 9:33pm On Jun 24, 2011
seanet02:

A good candidate. Let just hope she is not frustrated out like the clueless OBJ did
mmhh surprise!

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