by Lekan Olanrewaju
President Goodluck Jonathan Monday issued a statement in support of the Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and her current World Bank presidency bid, stating that her expertise made her the best for the job.
In the statement, he stated that the World Bank was in a position to “play an important role in partnering with Developing countries to promote growth, tackle poverty and uplift living standards, and that the choice of a president should be made according to the principles that have “been promised by the G-20 Countries as well as the World Bank’s Development Committee.”
Below is the full text of the statement:
I am very pleased to note the staunch support and universal acclaim elicited by the nomination of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, as a candidate for the post of World Bank President.
I am particularly appreciative of the strong endorsement and proactive backing for her candidature as Africa’s nominee for this very important position by fellow Heads of State across the continent, the African Union Commission, ECOWAS and African Ministers of Finance, Economy and Planning.
It is noteworthy that other developing countries, prominent individuals and organizations across the globe, including development experts, national and international media, think tanks, and civil society groups, have been very supportive of her nomination.
I also acknowledge the positive role played by Nigeria’s legislature, and other prominent groups, including members of Nigeria’s vibrant media, in lending strong support to her candidature. These have given Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s campaign a tremendous momentum, which we welcome.
As a preeminent development institution, the World Bank is well-positioned to play an important role in partnering with Developing countries to promote growth, tackle poverty and uplift living standards.
Accordingly, the leadership of the institution matters greatly and must be chosen with utmost care.
It matters even more in a complex, increasingly inter-connected global environment characterized by volatility and uncertainty.
It is for this reason that there is a resounding call to ensure an open, transparent and merit-based process in the election of the World Bank President, which our country aligns with, and which has been promised by the G-20 Countries as well as the World Bank’s Development Committee.
We firmly believe that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s knowledge and expertise, as well as the depth and breadth of her experience make her the best candidate to lead the World Bank. She has first-hand experience of managing complex financial and economic development issues at national and international levels, deploying her skills with demonstrated passion, commitment and professionalism.
She has also shown a high degree of innovation and drive, while exhibiting a strong ability to integrate and manage interwoven problems of development in infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, and other sectors in her expanded role as Coordinating Minister for the Economy.
I am firmly convinced that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s leadership will be beneficial, both to the World Bank and to its principal stakeholders.
I also believe that it would be immensely beneficial to Africa and the developing world at large. Nigeria urges that her candidacy receives fair consideration in an open, transparent and merit-based process, which should be embraced by all stakeholders.
Okonjo Iweala had also previously been announced as “Africa’s sole candidate” in a statement released on the African Union website.
“AUC is pleased to note that Africa has such a nominee in the person of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who possesses undisputed credentials in terms of her technical and managerial expertise, as well as a strong track record as a development professional, both inside and outside the World Bank.” the statement read.
All of this is in addition to endorsement by the People’s Democratic Party.
The World Bank is set to make its decision on the 16th of April.