The recession is biting hard; this is no news. The economy is in a state of quagmire and Nigerians are groaning under the heavy burden of skyrocketing cost of basic commodities. What has brought us to this state is the greed and selfishness of corrupt leaders; they have eaten their future and that of their children, that is why Nigeria is where she is today. It is sad, but we are here anyway and we need to find our way out. Thank God one way or the other there is a means of escape.
We need a competent leader; a saviour who can rescue us from the economic doldrums in which we have found ourselves. We need someone who can first lift us out of this pit and then possibly begin to lift us to greater heights. I say ‘*begin’*because the truth is that to begin to rebuild Nigeria will take considerable time; time and effort. Who better fits into this position than our very own Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala? Yes, Madam Ngozi, by all metrics and measurements is the woman we need at this moment. Time and time again she has proven her stuff; she has shown she knows her onions and can deliver. Obtaining a debt pardon of about $18 billion from the Paris Club is not child’s play; yet she and her team did it seamlessly. That was the beginning of good economic tidings for the country; it was the bedrock of the economic boom that Nigeria began to experience during Obasanjo’s time.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is not a fluke; over and over again, she demonstrated her skill with the introduction of sweeping economic reforms that catapulted the nation from stalemate to prosperity; inflation was reduced to single digits; ghost worker scams were uncovered. Also, with foresight, she had made provision for Nigeria to save through the Excess Crude Account, which was a buffer the country fell back on.
Calls have been coming from several quarters asking Okonjo-Iweala to come and rescue us from this recession. Let us not beat about the bush, she is the kind of person we need right now as president. It would be recalled that a poll taken by Post-Nigeria put Okonjo-Iweala in the lead with a total of 5, 639 (69%) votes, out of a total vote of 8,136, followed by the former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, who gathered 14% (1,138) of the total votes. This is a pointer that good times are around the corner if we allow Okonjo-Iweala to become president.
She has been tried, tested and proven and we have seen her deliver. To paraphrase what the Holy Book says if you have been tested and found faithful in that which is little, more will be committed in your hands. This is the time we need to commit more into Okonjo-Iweala’s hands; she has delivered on a ‘smaller’ scale, she will deliver on a ‘bigger’ scale.
As Finance Minister, she did great exploits; Nigeria will not forget her in a hurry for turning our economy around for good. I believe she will even do better as a President; she seems to have this golden touch for resuscitating a dying or failing economy. What better time than now do we need her to touch our economy which is the area that needs focus the most? We need to wake up to the reality of the moment.
Although, she has no such goals and ambitions and would likely turn down any, if the power to select the next president was vested in me, I would undoubtedly choose Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Bade Adebolu is an accountant and social commentator based in Ado-Ekiti. He sent this piece via firstname.lastname@example.org