Finance Minister Job Is One Of The Toughest In Any Country – Okonjo-Iweala
Former minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday described the job of a finance minister as one of the toughest jobs in the country.
Speaking on Al Jazeera talk show programme, #AJ Stream, the former minister said the job is tough because people tend to be fed up with you after two years in office.
“It was an honour and a privilege to be able to serve my country twice as finance minister. The finance minister is one of the toughest jobs you can have in any country,” she said.
“I think whether a man or woman, the average lifespan of finance minister is about two years. And it was Gordon Brown, former prime minister of the UK, who told me that he had actually calculated it. Because as a finance minister, no one likes you because you are in the business of saying ‘No’ to even your boss; it’s a very difficult position.
“There’s a lot to contend with, and then when you are a woman some people may see it as this person is wielding power. In some societies, the idea of a woman having so much power is not really acceptable. So that gender element can set in.
“And for me, it was so interesting because I never saw myself as wielding power; I wish I had seen myself as wielding power. I never felt it; all I thought of was the responsibilities of the job, not of power. Planning every day to make sure things happened the right way for the country.”
Asked what she would have done differently had she retained her office, Okonjo-Iweala said: “One of the things you learn as you get wiser is to talk less.
“I spent my time, I have contributed the best I could for the country, I think it is still one of the most interesting countries in the world, and it would be better to leave those who are managing it now to say what they will do.
“All I can say is that they have solutions; people in the country should not lose hope. Nigeria is a vibrant country; I love it so much and I know that it will come out of this strong.”