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Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala


Nigeria Minister of Finance

More by user: bmatyeba
Created: 18th Aug 2011
Modified: 18th Aug 2011
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
Nigerian Government
Finance Minister
Working primarily in:

Description of Work:

Prior to her ministerial career in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala was vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group. She left it in 2003 after she was appointed to President Obasanjo's cabinet as Finance Minister on 15 July.

In October 2005, she led the Nigerian team that struck a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors, to pay a portion of Nigeria's external debt (US $12 billion) in return for an $18 billion debt write-off. Prior to the partial debt payment and write-off, Nigeria spent roughly US $1 billion every year on debt servicing, without making a dent in the principal owed.

Okonjo-Iweala also introduced the practice of publishing each state's monthly financial allocation from the federal government in the newspapers. She was instrumental in helping Nigeria obtain its first ever sovereign credit rating (of BB minus) from Fitch and Standard & Poor's. Nigeria is considered to have defaulted on its sovereign debt in 1983 (debt rescheduling is considered a type of default by rating agencies).[5]

Some controversy surrounded Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment as Finance Minister, and that of Foreign Affairs minister, Olu Adeniji, as other ministers were resentful of their United Nations salaries of over US$240,000, compared with their own $6,000 base salary. The controversy was spearheaded by reform-minded media reports, although Okonjo-Iweala felt that her critics were unjustified because of the temporary nature of the payment, which came out of the donor supported Diaspora Fund negotiated by the Nigerian government.[6] On Friday, 20 July 2007, the Court of Appeal ruled that the salary payment was not done within the ambit of Nigeria's laws, and directed her and Adeniji to pay back the excess to the account of the state.

Both Okonjo-Iweala and the Federal Government of Nigeria have appealed the case to the Supreme Court, and judgement is pending. The appeal is on the basis that the appeals court made its judgement due to erroneous information provided to it that the Nigerian government was making the salary payments, when in fact it was not.

She resigned as Nigeria's Foreign Minister on August 3, 2006 following her sudden removal as head of Nigeria's Economic Intelligence team by President Olusegun Obasanjo. She left office at the end of August 2006.

On October 4, 2007, World Bank President Robert Zoellick appointed her to the post of Managing Director, effective December 1, 2007.[7]

Given the recent challenges faced by Nigeria on how to manage the macroeconomic policy in such a way to achieve the country's vision 2020, Okonjo Iweala was seen as a the Joshua who can actually lead the country to attain achieve her goal. During her confirmation as a Minister, she stressed the need to reduce the country's recurrent expenditure which is presently 74 percent of the National Budget and embark on capital projects which could improve the 14 percent unemployment rate in the country.[8] One of the conditions she gave to the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, was an additional power to influence/exercise power over the economic team. This power include the appointment of credible and proven staff to head departments and ministries under her portfolio.

Non-profit work

In 2007, Okonjo-Iweala's NGO, NOI Global Consulting, partnered with the Gallup Organization to introduce an opinion poll, the NOI poll, into the Nigerian polity.[9] She is a fellow at the Brookings Institution.[10] Okonjo-Iweala also serves on the Advisory Board of Global Financial Integrity and on the Board of Directors of the World Resources Institute.


Biographical Information
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Jun/13/1954
Gender: female
Place of Origin: Nigeria

was appointed in July 2011 as the new Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to this appointment, she was the Managing Director of World Bank (October 2007 - July 2011) and has also held the position of a Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria, between 2003 and 2006. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an A.B. in 1977, and earned her Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Wikipedia)


Additionally, on September 28, 2007, Irish musician Bono was awarded the Liberty Medal. Bono donated the $100,000 prize to the Washington-based Debt AIDS Trade Africa, which he co-founded, and Okonjo-Iweala accepted the award on the organization's behalf. (Wikipedia)

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Author: zhongrcu
Thu Aug 18 08:09:17 2011

This post was deleted because it contravenes AllAfrica's commenting guidelines.

Author: Peter Carlos Hinds
Thu Aug 18 19:08:13 2011

Black people have got to stop their libel,slander, and defamation.Black governments should enforce libel, slander, and defamation laws.The law of Moses "Thou shall not bear false witness".Peter Carlos Hinds.

Author: onyenwokoro
Sat Aug 20 17:37:03 2011

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, I'm very much impressed for your demonstration of uncommon patiotism despite the wonderful position you are occupying as the Managing Director of World Bank. Nigerians are, indeed, looking forward with much eagerness to witness the long exected our Economy, through your active the present cabinet of President.I wish you goodluck.

Author: Ma'aji Caleb Zonkwa
Tue Aug 23 11:26:05 2011

Also to ADD to My Techno-sister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL EDUCATION allocation is yet another knotty issue that should not be forgotten because it is a Nation Economic ROLLER-COASTER-this is the aspect of education which is known throughout the world to be more viable. Effort should be geared more to it. http://vocational-problemszonkwa.blogspot/

Author: lilian20desmond
Fri Dec 23 17:09:13 2011

Hi Dear Peace be unto you,my name is Miss Lilian Desmond, how are you today.I do hope that you are fine. iam looking for friends around the world, Please send me an email soon at my mail box thus for more details and to equally send you my picture (

Author: muhammadu
Thu Aug 18 09:43:28 2011

Congratulations madame finance. DO NOT LET OUR COUNTRY DOWN!!! We are counting on you do deliver. Time to stop all rhetoric and focus on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS...Also focus on fighting corruptions. Nothing can be achieved if corrupt officials are going to POCKET money assigned for projects, and police folks are busy on the roads collecting bribes and harassing motorists!!! Do your best to tackle corruptions especially in banking business. Make sure this Islamic banking is extended to all parts of the country so that it will not be dominated by the Northern cities. The banking should be focused on… [Read Full Text]

See all comments (12).

Topical Focus  » Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Okonjo-Iweala Takes Charge of Nigeria's Economic Policy

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has returned to Nigeria for a second tour as finance minister and economic policy czar. During her swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, President Goodluck Jonathan thanked her for ...

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