What Nigeria needs in a new finance minister
What qualities should Nigeria's next Finance Minister possess?

Key questions this article answers:

  1. How crucial is the Minister of Finance's role in Nigeria's growth and development? 

  2. What key characteristics must the next Minister of Finance in Nigeria possess?

Some leaders were born (or made) for crises. They are great leaders in their own right, but you only truly appreciate them when they lead in crises. Many leaders can survive a boom; after all, everything is good, but only a few can successfully navigate a storm.

We sometimes call them wartime leaders, and we see them mainly in the private sector. Like when Steve Jobs returned to save Apple in 1997 when the company struggled to create operating systems.

Wartime leaders also exist in the public sector. Like Mario Draghi, who did "whatever it took" to save the Euro or Paul Martin, the Canadian Minister of finance from 1993 to 2002, who brought Canada out of a nearly 30-year trend of budget deficits.

Our very own Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a notable mention here, given how she successfully navigated Nigeria's (and one of the World's) largest debt relief arrangements to restore Nigeria's growth.  

These are the kind of leaders Nigeria urgently needs today, given our fiscal crisis. In the past three years, the debt-to-revenue ratio has been about 90%; the petrol subsidy has become more unsustainable, while inflation (21.8% as of Jan’23) and unemployment (33% as of Q4’20) continue to soar.

So, Nigeria, like Apple and Canada, is poised for wartime leadership.

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Gbemisola Alonge

Gbemisola Alonge

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