By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
When President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finance Minister and also named her the “Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME),” I was greatly surprised that several Nigerians appeared to share the president’s rather lofty expectations that she was coming with fresh, workable ideas to turn the country’s ailing economy around.
Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,
Nigeria's Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the
If it were in 2003 when most Nigerians who were encountering her for the first time were unduly tantalized by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s lavish stress on her impressive credentials as a brilliant World Bank expert who had accepted to make the “great sacrifice” of coming here to salvage our country’s economy, their naivety and misplaced enthusiasm could easily have been forgiven.
But what would ever remain inconceivable is how any person or group of persons could stretch optimism far beyond its malleable limits to invest such high hopes in the capabilities of a person who had served as finance minister and head of the Economic Team in a regime under which unprecedented earnings from crude oil exports had translated to further deterioration of the economy and untold suffering among the populace.