When one continues to forge ahead on a glorious pedestal in spite of detracting fellows who conjure snags, it becomes worthy of discussion, praise and emulation.
This is the case with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose profile continues to soar abroad despite undue criticisms from some disenchanted fellows.
History is awash with relics of public officials who sank into redundancy, oblivion and infamy after exit from office. I can give a list both home and abroad but I don’t have to. You know some of them. Some even lobby and fight tooth and nail to gain relevance even at the detriment of losing the trust reposed in them. But this is not the case for Okonjo-Iweala.
Despite leaving office over a year ago, after the inauguration of the present administration, and amidst allegations from die-hard critics, she is still “in office” with an acclivitous portfolio enamoured with new appointments and awards – internationally.
From being appointed as Chair of the 28-member Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, GAVI, to joining Lazard, as Senior Advisor, our dear former Minister remains a gem. It’s no wonder many Nigerians have called on the present administration countless times to employ her expertise.
This also was rebuffed by the detracting camp but the proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating and wisdom is identified by her children. My question is: if the false allegations are really true, did she hoodwink the international bodies that have been endeared to her because of her track-record? The records are bare; Okonjo-Iweala stands out.
Recently, she joined 10 other key persons on the board of the international advisory panel of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral international Development Bank. By her appointment, she, alongside the appointees, would provide impartial, objective and independent advice to the President of the Asian Bank.
And just when we thought her portfolio could take no more, she bagged two national awards from Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.
I urge every public official and anyone reading this to aim for such career pedigree. You can become so outstanding that even after you have exited your office, you still remain “in office”.