Daily Maverick

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed why he appointed Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance.

Obj, as fondly called, also stated that Africa needs sound and proactive leaders​.

He noted that the continent would perform remarkably well in all sectors when the right people occupy majority positions of authority.

​T​he Owu-born high chief spoke at a lecture at the AIG-Blavatnik school of ​he ​government, University of Oxford, UK​. ​​

“Africa needs leadership and it needs it now and all the time. Proactivity as an element of transformational leadership emphasizes the need for governance to be led actively by a discerning and quick thinking leadership,” he said.

“Again, I should reiterate my experience shortly after I was elected. I engaged in what maybe called shuttle diplomacy in governance instead of the going cap in hand for donor dictated partnership terms that often saw our leaders accepting all manner of conditionalities.

“The lesson here is that, proactive leadership was critical at the time in Nigeria’s history. I commenced the campaign for debt relief early in my first term and got sympathetic hearings, but not much action from political leaders of creditor countries.

“After my first term, I realized that my talks at the highest political levels needed follow-up at the levels below. So, I head-hunted Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from the World Bank, appointing her as Nigeria’s minister of finance.”

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