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What next as Dr. Okonjo-Iweala Resigns?

The sudden exit of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is gathering a major concern in Nigerian economic system. Dr. Okonjo was leader of the economic team, and the former Minister of Finance and until her resignation was the Foreign Affairs Minister.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, educated at Harvard (A.B. Magnum Cum Laude 1981) and has her Ph.D. in regional economics and development from M.I.T. Many Nigerians consider some of her financial reform policies unsuitable for a country like Nigeria where majority of the people still live in abject poverty.

Dr. Okonjo resigned as Foreign Minister on August 3, 2006 following her sudden removal as head of the Economic team by President Olusegun Obasanjo. Prior to her ministerial career in Nigeria, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was a vice-president of the World Bank. She left the Bank in 2003 after she was appointed Finance Minister by President Olusegun Obasanjo on 15 July, 2003. Both during her years at the World Bank and in her service to Nigeria, she developed a reputation for hard work on democratization, anti-corruption and debt management issues. In October 2005, she led the Nigerian team that struck a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors, to pay off Nigeria's external debt of about 18 million US dollars.

In her resignation she wrote, I am compelled to tender my resignation at this time because of the need to take care of pressing family issues that require her immediate attention. But is that the reason she resigned her appointive position as Foreign Affairs Minister? From all indication, Dr. Okonjo Iweala resigned because of pressure against her in the presidency. The Smart and reputable economist is ready again to expose our thieving leaders in the foreign ministry. In fact, she has mapped out some important changes to strengthen the ministry and refocus the ministry foreign policy.

What is the faith of our economic system? Can the newly appointed Minister of Finance and the leader of Economic Team, Mrs. Nenadi continue from where Dr. Okonjo stopped?

Isaac Moses , August 7th, 2006
Chicago, U.S.A

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