Joel Ademisoye Ph.D

Joel Ademisoye Ph.D

Dr. Joel Ademisoye, Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of the District of Columbia and Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, former Senior Management Analyst with Randstad USA/PBGC, a Political Appointee of D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, a Community Leader in the Nigerian community and a Writer.

 

The United States presidential election campaign in 2016 gave the genesis to President Donald Trump’s domestic policy which is reflected in his public statement as “America First” and “make America great again.” These are code words for American nationalism, which was directed at inspiring and mobilising his conservative base and supporters across the United States. Since becoming the president in January of 2017, Trump has been beating the drum of nationalism as reflected and expressed in major repeals or changes to President Barack Obama government policies throughout the country.

Recently, the world underwent a rude shock when President Trump withdrew the membership of the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This is indeed Trumpism at work, which is an idea based on America First. This thinking is the driving force underlying the new push to change America’s immigration policy and many others under the Trump administration.

In the just concluded G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, President Trump’s worldview emerged in which he sees the role of the United States as the “defender of western civilisation” in the comity of nations and within the global economy. This is a strong statement suggesting a food for thought. Are we going to witness the revival of practice of protectionism in global trade and biliteral relations between two countries? Is the era of collaboration and cooperation in international relations among nations over under America’s Trump leadership? It seems the Trump Doctrine is reducing the key role of the United States and its leadership in global affairs as indicated in this famous statement by the president: “I was elected to represent Pittsburg not Paris.”

 This public pronouncement by Trump underscores the inward-looking tendency of his administration coupled with the efforts directed at protecting and promoting the national interest of the US in world affairs.

It appears Trump as the defender of western civilisation and its values, the world is back to the old ways of doing things. This brings us to a dichotomy in world politics, where it is the West versus the rest of the world. Of course, African countries such as Nigeria don’t fall in the realm of western civilisation. According to world history, it is known that African civilisation is quite different from and influenced that of Europe. Arguably, it played a role in the development of the western civilization. Thus, these African countries are not included in Trump’s protection and defence plan, because they don’t have shared cultural values and European heritage.

Against this backdrop, Trump’s worldview is exclusionary rather than inclusionary to countries outside the orbit of Western culture and values, which are primarily located in South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. In spite of Trump’s label as a defender of western civilisation, European countries are experiencing a drift from the United States. For instance, recently, the European Union, independently of the United States signed trade agreements with Japan and China. Trump’s view of the world is beginning to create tension, realignment and phobia among countries in terms of collaboration and cooperation in the international community.



Dr. Joel Ademisoye, Maryland, United States

The life of General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu is typically resourceful, a reflection of the   complexity and dialectical tension of human beings. Ojukwu the man had a humble beginning as a Nigerian of Igbo ethnic descent. Born into a prominent, wealthy Ojukwu family in Nnewi in Anambra state, the baby Ojukwu was a child considered born with a “golden spoon in his mouth.”  The father was one of the Nigeria Millionaires, an indigenous entrepreneur known for his ownership of Ojukwu Transport Service, a business entity based in the former Eastern region. Ojukwu’s early life was exemplary and revealed many enviable achievements; he was a graduate of Oxford University in England.

Surprisingly, for a graduate of one of the world’s renounced institutions of higher learning and a man born into a rich family, Ojukwu chose an unconventional career path by first joining the Nigeria civil service, later the country’s military service. My interest in writing about Ojukwu arose from the fact that I belong to the war generation who witnessed first- hand the historic civil war in 1967 – 1970. More importantly, in 1970, I knew of Ojukwu through, Ojumu, a labor officer at the Federal Ministry of Labor in Lagos, who was a senior of the secessionist leader at Oxford University. In telling Ojukwu story, the official said that Ojukwu studied History in order to practicalize what he studied.   Still, at the family level, the General consummated a marriage of plutocracy when he took Bianca Onoh, a woman of beauty from another rich family as his wife.

When the annals of Nigerian history is written, a chapter would be devoted to Ojukwu’s unique role in the country’s inter- ethnic political struggle in the post colonial period.  In fact, the name, Ojukwu is synonymous with secessionism in Nigeria. In my view, Ojukwu contributed to modernity in Nigeria. How? Truth be told, one could argue here that he deployed the rudimentary African scientific and technological means of empowering himself and his people during the Civil War. He and his advocates saw modernity in his strategies and activism during the crisis. For example, the Biafran invented a weapon known as “ogbunigwe”(an indigenous bomb developed to kill the enemies en-mass).

Again, one can maintain here that the general was a regional leader whose rhetoric and activism made him opposed to the legacy of the British colonial government. The creation of the political-geography of Nigeria was attributed to a bias of the colonial administration, which to a certain degree is responsible for the contemporary challenges facing Nigeria as a nation since independence. The 1914 Amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorates under the colonial governor, Lord Frederick Dealtry Luggard was a marriage of convenience to serve the political and economic interests of the British. Overall, the British Nigeria policy sowed the seeds of discord among ethnic groups in the country. Hence, Nigeria is faced with its political structural imbalance problem. Some people attributed Ojukwu’s joining the Army as a preparatory step in anticipation of what he perceived as the future challenges facing the country and the role of the military in the Nigeria government.  It is hard to believe that Ojukwu with strong educational background will enlist in the Nigerian army. This action of Ojukwu in the army uniform has raised and provided for many riddles and puzzles as to why he joined the army, more so, according to the past thinking- that the military profession was considered a dumping ground for the less educated children from poor, illiterate families.

Before the outbreak of the civil war, Ojukwu as a senior Nigerian army officer, he gallantly and professionally served his country in various military assignments.  In Africa and at the international community of nations, he served as a member of the UN Peace Keeping force in the Congo. In the domestic affairs of Nigeria, Ojukwu provided military leadership in 1964, as the commander of the 5th Battalion of Nigerian army in Kano. Similarly, in January 17, 1966, the federal military government under General Yakubu Gowon appointed Ojukwu as the military governor of the former Eastern region.

It is an intriguing question for this author to ask of the location of Ojukwu among the Igbo ethnic group? Based on discussions with some Igbos, it is my understanding that Ojukwu benefitted immensely from his association and mentoring relationship with the undisputed political leader of the Igbos, former President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe in the immediate post- colonial Nigeria. It is also stated that Ojukwu fed on and took advantage of the cultural belief that “we are all Igbo” which provides the basis for Igbo solidarity, particularly in the face of external aggression such as the massacre of the Igbos in September 1966 (20,000 Ibo massacred, The Washington Post, November 30, 2011, P. B5) in the northern region and estimated 2 million people (Michael R. Stafford, Major, U.S. Army, “Quick kill in slow motion: The Nigerian Civil War” Marine Corps and Staff College, April 1, 1984) in the subsequent Biafran war. It is therefore not unreasonable to credit the presence of these two factors for the rapid rise of Ojukwu’s leadership among the Igbos.  It is appropriate to characterize Ojukwu’s leadership role in the breakaway of Biafra as legendary in the cause of Igbos. But, with the demise of Biafra, and in the aftermath of the disagreement between Ojukwu and his political mentor, Azikwe, his influence among the Igbos waned.

The differences between the two Igbo political and military giants resonated in and had ripple effect in the larger Igbo community which polarized and divided them into Ojukwu and Azikwe camps respectively. Ojukwu’s leadership was further eroded and in some quarters, openly challenged because of his self- inflicted wounds, by politically engaging in and forming alliance with the northern oligarchy-Hausa –Fulani, who are known to be the historic rival and sworn enemy of the Igbos from political and religious perspectives in Nigeria. For example, in 1983, Ojukwu, a popular former secessionist leader ran for the Nigeria senate but he was defeated in his home state of Anambra. Is this to say that Ojukwu, the “lion” of the Biafra movement has lost his importance among and the support of the Igbo people? Or what is the explanation for Ojukwu’s political irrelevancy in the heart of Igboland?

What is Ojukwu’s secessionist legacy in Nigeria? As much as I am opposed to and condemned secessionist tendency in Nigeria, I strongly believe that there are some lessons learned, also there are some “silver linings” in the civil war experience in the country.  The freedom for minority groups (Calabar, Ogoja, Rivers, etc) was attained through the creation of 12 states in 1967 in Nigeria (Gowon’s broadcast to the nation, May 27, 1967). Today, Nigeria has 36 states, an indication of progress in political restructuring of the pre-civil war ethnic arrangements in the country and a form of ethnic integration. Moreover, it helped to alleviate the fear of minorities in terms of political domination and marginalization by the former “Big 3”, Northern, Western, and Eastern regions. The Nigerian “Tshombe” employed a radical and revolutionary approach to resolving the ethnic conflict and military government crisis in the country, more importantly to protect his Igbo people. Ojukwu’s action fundamentally shaped and changed the internal geography of Nigeria and its domestic politics. Another benefit of the war was reflected in the area of Nigeria national security with the creation and institutionalization of training in civil defense and evacuation planning (Michael R. Stafford, Major, US Army, April 1, 1984).

However, some critics accused Ojukwu of stubbornness, selfishness and belligerency with a parochial interest of protecting the Igbo people. Ojukwu rejected Gowon’s Decree No. 8, which essentially decentralized the government of the country in order to meet one of the secessionist leader’s demands for Eastern Region to remain a part of Nigeria.  Many observers of the Nigeria civil war questioned Ojukwu’s patriotism, loyalty as a high ranking Nigerian military officer and his genuine commitment to the survival of the country.  He declined to accept the Aburi Compromise plan.  Nonetheless, the civil war helped to galvanize and brought to the attention of the international community the state of poor ethnic relations, religious disharmony and unhealthy competition among various ethnic compositions in the country.

It is an irony that forty-one years after the Biafran war, the 1967 prevailing ethnic animosity and conflict which led to the killings of Igbos and other non-Muslim religious groups of southern origin are still alive. For example, the recent threat from Boko Haram, a Muslim terrorist sect who undertook the slaughtering of innocent Igbos and Christian groups has brought back echoes of the civil war.  The issue of northern domination is raised in the context of the political notion of north-south dichotomy, which has brought about the political behavior of the “giant” north going after the “pigmy” of the south.   And once again, it seems that history is repeating itself.  The Igbos in the north, are making the reverse journey back to their homeland. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and our national leaders in the National Assembly owe it to all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic and religious background, to ensure peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic groups across the country.

Considering the current atmosphere of ethnic drift, there is a need for urgent action to transform the ethnic landscape of the country. It seems the united Nigeria for which many lives were lost, a goal of the Nigeria civil war, is elusive and unattainable bearing the existence of the on-going brutal attacks by the extremist Boko Haram in the northern states of the country. In 2001, Ojukwu again warned Nigeria that Biafra is still an option for the Igbos to consider. The death of Ojukwu is a vivid reminder of ethnic injustice as a fungal force with the potency of destroying the unionism and stability of Nigeria. The important question for Nigerians is, where do we go from here? Obviously, with Ojukwu in death and the Biafran war in the history book, yet Nigerians continue to wrestle with the sobering question about the future of Nigeria and its survival as an indivisible nation.           

The other day, out of interest and curiosity in Nigerian affairs, I took a hard look at President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's list of ministers, with a focus on Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the new federal minister of finance, and I left with a sense of hope for the administration and Nigeria at large. She took the oath of office from the president on August 18, in Abuja. Why focus on the new federal finance minister? There are many tangible and intangible reasons why I am interested in discussing one of Nigeria's foremost development economists of this generation. As a member of the Diaspora community, I am impressed and fascinated with Iweala's sound academic training and her professional success over the years. As a managing director at the prestigious Brentwood financial institution, the World Bank speaks volumes about her professional qualification and role in the global banking operations. This is Iweala's second duty tour as Nigeria's finance minister.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Federal Finance Minister: A Welcome News

Ngozi Okoboji-IwealaThe last outing as a minister in the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration ended up on a sour note as if she was kicked upstairs in her new capacity as Foreign Minister. I think what Obasanjo lost was then Iweala's economic knowledge and financial management expertise which now a gain for Jonathan. I am glad that Jonathan recognized Iweala's wealth of economic policy experiences and quickly tapped her for the meaningful contributions she is capable of making to Nigeria's economy. This is welcome news for a battered Nigerian economy.

I am writing also about Iweala because of some of the public statements she made at her swearing in ceremony in Abuja, the nation's capital. I believe that Iweala's appointment as a finance minister is a good fit for Jonathan's efforts at transforming Nigeria. The minister of finance has a solid financial policy and management experience in developing economies. More importantly, she is very familiar with the Nigeria's endemic economic issues, and financial troubles. I met Iweala at a Sullivan Foundation conference that was held in Washington, DC last year and I immediately discovered her passion and love for Nigeria. One can appreciate her emotional attachment to her motherland. In her presentation with President Obasanjo in attendance, she recounted some of her innovative and creative economic programs in the Obasanjo administration.

As the country's finance minister the last time around, she was instrumental in radically reducing Nigeria's foreign debt. After the conference, I viewed Iweala as an agent of change in the country. Iweala's pubIic statements last week once again underscored her aim to change the status quo in the Nigeria's economy. First, the change begins at the finance ministry where she shared with the staff her three point agenda of "efficiency, effective (sic) and delivery." This agenda is appropriate for the staff of the ministry because as the saying goes, charity begins at home. I am of the viewpoint that President Jonathan should embrace the Iweala agenda and make it a bureaucratic norm of all federal government ministries and agencies. This agenda if implemented throughout the federal government, it would radically change the way the business of government is conducted and it also would be result oriented.

Iweala identified Jonathan administration's main priority as creating jobs for the Nigerian youths. This is a laudable goal considering the staggering high unemployment rate of19.7%, according to the Bureau of National Statistics in the country, especially among the university graduates. This unemployment issue has serious and far reaching implications for economic growth of the country. It also has negative social implication for the Nigerian society in terms of enhancing the opportunity for increasing crimes. Perhaps, the unemployment problem is a global phenomenon with the high unemployment rate in the U.S. that is creating a political scare for the Obama presidential re-election bid.

Nigeria is fortunate to have Iweala, a "debt hawk" as its finance minister, her past tenure experience revealed that she has zero tolerance for deficit spending, that is, the country is living on borrowed money. The recent debt ceiling political debacle in the U.S. and the Greece debt crisis may have become an eye opener for other countries in their debt management approach. According to Iweala, she believes in prudent debt management. Her acceptance for the responsibility to manage Nigeria's economy is a blessing because the country is already experiencing deficit spending in excess of a trillion naira. A word of caution: Nigeria may be closer to experiencing the Greek debt syndrome in the near future if adequate corrective economic measures are not taken. For example, Iweala is credited with the formation of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT), a body or an organization charged with the responsibility of coordinating the economic activities of the federal government. Utilizing her management experience, she was appointed the coordinator of the NEMT. The composition of the team (members drawn from some government ministries, state representatives, etc.) reflects the sectors linkage to, connection with, and their impact on the Nigerian economy. This new structure also suggests a holistic approach to the treatment of the country's economy.

I hope the second coming of Iweala would be more fulfilling for Nigeria than the last tenure. Her transfer from the finance to the ministry of information or foreign affairs was a political decision on Obasanjo's part which profoundly underutilized her economic expertise and seriously damaged the country's financial reputation in the international community. The fulfillment of Nigeria's aspirations and expectations are exceedingly high in terms of jobs creation and sound economic management under Iweala's leadership at the federal ministry of finance. I am glad to learn of Jonathan's political will and support given to the finance minister in the performance of her functions. Iweala, a seasoned and a well-connected economist at the World renounced development economics, continued to surprise this author because of her affinity for Nigeria and her ethuasuism to serve the Nigerian people.

She falls into the category of global citizens, as in the case of Nigerians in the Diaspora who are being challenged almost in the same way that the late President John F. Kennedy of the U.S. called upon his fellow Americans in the now celebrated question, " Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?" This great Nigerian woman, amazingly said" nobody is too big to serve his or her country." This incredible statement is comparable to Kennedy's belief in public service to one's country and it is also a testament to her interest in and commitment to Nigeria, no matter what? I viewed this statement as a challenge to many successful Nigerian professionals and business men and women in the Diaspora to return to Nigeria to use their knowledge, skills and investment to make a difference in the lives of the Nigerian people. How many Nigerians are willing and ready to follow Iweala's footsteps? Obviously, Iweala's decision to serve as Nigeria's finance minister involves a huge sacrifice of personal success on the altar on Nigerian nationalism because to her service to country is preferred over comfortable life in Washington, D.C. By taking another plunge into the Nigerian government, Iweala has demonstrated her real love and passion for Nigeria. In my book, Iweala is a "national treasure" that must be admired and cherished forever.

The formation of National Economic Management Team (NEMT) revealed Iweala's management philosophy and style in her belief in team work. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the concept of team work is alien because its effectiveness in the country's bureaucracy is stymied by individualism, rivalry, and division. Team approach to work is a useful management tool, because it allows for coordination and efficient use of resources among diverse government agencies. I figured out some work ethics revealed in Iweala's statement to the press- " work hard" and "delivery." These terms are foreign to the Nigerian work place and are not part of lexicon of the Nigeria's bureaucracy that is known to be unproductive and limited in its delivery of service to the Nigerian public.

The appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the federal minister of finance in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is encouraging and promising in that the Jonathan administration may after all deliver on its transforming the country and in resolving the economic and infrastructure issues facing it. With Iweala on board as the coordinator of the country's economic team, my confidence in the ability of the Jonathan administration to perform has been significantly enhanced. Now, it is a Great Expectation. I hope the administration would be performance conscious and result driven in meeting the development needs of the country. Of paramount importance, is the president's invaluable political support for the finance minister to ensure a good job based on integrity, accountability, transparency, and effective performance of the NEMT? This is part of the institutional capacity building that is urgently needed to address the issue of poor management in the public sector. On this note, I say warm welcome to Dr. Ngozi Okoboji-Iweala, as the Federal . Many Nigerians are expecting great improvements, meaningful contributions to the country's economy during your tenure.

The other day, out of interest and curiosity in Nigerian affairs, I took a hard look at President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan's list of ministers, with a focus on Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the new federal minister of finance, and I left with a sense of hope for the administration and Nigeria at large. She took the oath of office from the president on August 18, in Abuja. Why focus on the new federal finance minister? There are many tangible and intangible reasons why I am interested in discussing one of Nigeria's foremost development economists of this generation. As a member of the Diaspora community, I am impressed and fascinated with Iweala's sound academic training and her professional success over the years. As a managing director at the prestigious Brentwood financial institution, the World Bank speaks volumes about her professional qualification and role in the global banking operations. This is Iweala's second duty tour as Nigeria's finance minister.

Ngozi Okoboji-IwealaThe last outing as a minister in the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration ended up on a sour note as if she was kicked upstairs in her new capacity as Foreign Minister. I think what Obasanjo lost was then Iweala's economic knowledge and financial management expertise which now a gain for Jonathan. I am glad that Jonathan recognized Iweala's wealth of economic policy experiences and quickly tapped her for the meaningful contributions she is capable of making to Nigeria's economy. This is welcome news for a battered Nigerian economy.

I am writing also about Iweala because of some of the public statements she made at her swearing in ceremony in Abuja, the nation's capital. I believe that Iweala's appointment as a finance minister is a good fit for Jonathan's efforts at transforming Nigeria. The minister of finance has a solid financial policy and management experience in developing economies. More importantly, she is very familiar with the Nigeria's endemic economic issues, and financial troubles. I met Iweala at a Sullivan Foundation conference that was held in Washington, DC last year and I immediately discovered her passion and love for Nigeria. One can appreciate her emotional attachment to her motherland. In her presentation with President Obasanjo in attendance, she recounted some of her innovative and creative economic programs in the Obasanjo administration.

As the country's finance minister the last time around, she was instrumental in radically reducing Nigeria's foreign debt. After the conference, I viewed Iweala as an agent of change in the country. Iweala's pubIic statements last week once again underscored her aim to change the status quo in the Nigeria's economy. First, the change begins at the finance ministry where she shared with the staff her three point agenda of "efficiency, effective (sic) and delivery." This agenda is appropriate for the staff of the ministry because as the saying goes, charity begins at home. I am of the viewpoint that President Jonathan should embrace the Iweala agenda and make it a bureaucratic norm of all federal government ministries and agencies. This agenda if implemented throughout the federal government, it would radically change the way the business of government is conducted and it also would be result oriented.

Iweala identified Jonathan administration's main priority as creating jobs for the Nigerian youths. This is a laudable goal considering the staggering high unemployment rate of19.7%, according to the Bureau of National Statistics in the country, especially among the university graduates. This unemployment issue has serious and far reaching implications for economic growth of the country. It also has negative social implication for the Nigerian society in terms of enhancing the opportunity for increasing crimes. Perhaps, the unemployment problem is a global phenomenon with the high unemployment rate in the U.S. that is creating a political scare for the Obama presidential re-election bid.

Nigeria is fortunate to have Iweala, a "debt hawk" as its finance minister, her past tenure experience revealed that she has zero tolerance for deficit spending, that is, the country is living on borrowed money. The recent debt ceiling political debacle in the U.S. and the Greece debt crisis may have become an eye opener for other countries in their debt management approach. According to Iweala, she believes in prudent debt management. Her acceptance for the responsibility to manage Nigeria's economy is a blessing because the country is already experiencing deficit spending in excess of a trillion naira. A word of caution: Nigeria may be closer to experiencing the Greek debt syndrome in the near future if adequate corrective economic measures are not taken. For example, Iweala is credited with the formation of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT), a body or an organization charged with the responsibility of coordinating the economic activities of the federal government. Utilizing her management experience, she was appointed the coordinator of the NEMT. The composition of the team (members drawn from some government ministries, state representatives, etc.) reflects the sectors linkage to, connection with, and their impact on the Nigerian economy. This new structure also suggests a holistic approach to the treatment of the country's economy.

I hope the second coming of Iweala would be more fulfilling for Nigeria than the last tenure. Her transfer from the finance to the ministry of information or foreign affairs was a political decision on Obasanjo's part which profoundly underutilized her economic expertise and seriously damaged the country's financial reputation in the international community. The fulfillment of Nigeria's aspirations and expectations are exceedingly high in terms of jobs creation and sound economic management under Iweala's leadership at the federal ministry of finance. I am glad to learn of Jonathan's political will and support given to the finance minister in the performance of her functions. Iweala, a seasoned and a well-connected economist at the World renounced development economics, continued to surprise this author because of her affinity for Nigeria and her ethuasuism to serve the Nigerian people.

She falls into the category of global citizens, as in the case of Nigerians in the Diaspora who are being challenged almost in the same way that the late President John F. Kennedy of the U.S. called upon his fellow Americans in the now celebrated question, " Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?" This great Nigerian woman, amazingly said" nobody is too big to serve his or her country." This incredible statement is comparable to Kennedy's belief in public service to one's country and it is also a testament to her interest in and commitment to Nigeria, no matter what? I viewed this statement as a challenge to many successful Nigerian professionals and business men and women in the Diaspora to return to Nigeria to use their knowledge, skills and investment to make a difference in the lives of the Nigerian people. How many Nigerians are willing and ready to follow Iweala's footsteps? Obviously, Iweala's decision to serve as Nigeria's finance minister involves a huge sacrifice of personal success on the altar on Nigerian nationalism because to her service to country is preferred over comfortable life in Washington, D.C. By taking another plunge into the Nigerian government, Iweala has demonstrated her real love and passion for Nigeria. In my book, Iweala is a "national treasure" that must be admired and cherished forever.

The formation of National Economic Management Team (NEMT) revealed Iweala's management philosophy and style in her belief in team work. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the concept of team work is alien because its effectiveness in the country's bureaucracy is stymied by individualism, rivalry, and division. Team approach to work is a useful management tool, because it allows for coordination and efficient use of resources among diverse government agencies. I figured out some work ethics revealed in Iweala's statement to the press- " work hard" and "delivery." These terms are foreign to the Nigerian work place and are not part of lexicon of the Nigeria's bureaucracy that is known to be unproductive and limited in its delivery of service to the Nigerian public.

The appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the federal minister of finance in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is encouraging and promising in that the Jonathan administration may after all deliver on its transforming the country and in resolving the economic and infrastructure issues facing it. With Iweala on board as the coordinator of the country's economic team, my confidence in the ability of the Jonathan administration to perform has been significantly enhanced. Now, it is a Great Expectation. I hope the administration would be performance conscious and result driven in meeting the development needs of the country. Of paramount importance, is the president's invaluable political support for the finance minister to ensure a good job based on integrity, accountability, transparency, and effective performance of the NEMT? This is part of the institutional capacity building that is urgently needed to address the issue of poor management in the public sector. On this note, I say warm welcome to Dr. Ngozi Okoboji-Iweala, as the Federal . Many Nigerians are expecting great improvements, meaningful contributions to the country's economy during your tenure.