Former serial Minister in Nigeria and also serial World Bank high official, the un-ignorable Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has become an American citizen, Bloomberg reports.
Before now, she has lived for 25 years in the US without becoming its citizen.
Recall that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari recently tapped her as Nigeria’s candidate for the presidency of the World Trade Organisation-WTO.
This is despite the fact that she served under the PDP-led President Goodluck Jonathan Administration which competed fiercely with President Buhari’s team in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election. (Maybe, President Buhari was trying to keep one of Nigeria’s most renowned human assets solely for Nigeria. Who knows?)
Also recall that the courageous Amazon ran for the post of World Bank President a few years ago, but was defeated due to the ‘presumed convention’ that only a US citizen can become President of the World Bank (as of 2020).
Now, if she decides to run for World Bank President again, we doubt that ‘convention’ can stop her, since she now holds the green passport.
In her first stint as Nigeria’s Finance Minister under President Obasanjo, Mrs Iweala successfully negotiated debt forgiveness for Nigeria. Billions of dollars in debilitating debt were wiped off.
Before that feat, she was World Bank Vice President, and the international bank had given her a leave-of-absence to become Nigeria’s Minister of Finance.
After the debt cancellation, then President Obasanjo named her Foreign Minister. From there she returned to the World Bank and was named Managing Director, a higher post than Vice President.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala returned to Nigeria as Foreign Minister during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, and was given the added job of Coordinating Minister for the Economy.
During this stint, Nigeria’s GDP was repurposed and surpassed that of South Africa for the first time, making Nigeria Africa’s biggest economy.
After that stint, Ngozi Iweala challenged the official US candidate for the post of World Bank President, but lost. If she had won, she would have become the first non-US citizen to do so.
Looking in another lense, we see Dr Iweala as a possible future chairman of the US Federal Reserve.
We are watching keenly the interesting life of this Ada Igbo.