Nigeria’s president has nominated World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for a post in his new cabinet following his April election win, the leader of the senate said on Tuesday.
Former finance minister Okonjo-Iweala was widely acclaimed for negotiating the cancellation of 18 billion dollars of Nigeria’s debt in 2005.
President Goodluck Jonathan will assign her a portfolio after she has been vetted by the senate, but it is widely believed the Harvard-educated economist will take on her former post, injecting much-needed confidence into the government of the oil-rich country.
Senate leader David Mark read out a letter from the president asking the senate to confirm her nomination.
Jonathan had last week forwarded 34 names to the senate for vetting. Of the 14 cleared last week, the president re-appointed 12 ministers to their old jobs, drawing criticism for recycling old faces when talking about reforms.
Jonathan took office on May 29 following elections deemed the country’s fairest to date.
He has said his priority is to transform Africa’s most populous nation, where despite the nation’s huge oil wealth, many of its 150 million people live in poverty without basics such as water and electricity.
Okonjo-Iweala served under former president Olusegun Obasanjo as finance minister. She was re-assigned to foreign affairs where she worked for a few months before she joined the World Bank.