Thursday, 3 March 2016

Haters Leave Kemi Adeosun Alone! By Christian Okwori

For some times now as Nigeria’s economic problems deepen due to the fall in oil prices and the rapid devaluation of the Naira against the Dollar in the parallel (black) market, some naive folks and arm chair critics who can’t see beyond their nose mostly out of sentiment now analyze the Nigerian economy like experts in the mold of Adam Smith, Lord Alfred Marshal, or Robert Keynes.

They blame the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun for the free fall of the Naira and the over-bloated 2016 budget. They see her as inexperienced, incompetent, and poorly qualified if at all fit for the job. They blame her for everything wrong with the economy. Their description of her is in fact a reflection of how daft and shallow their minds are because it clearly shows that they have no knowledge of how the economy works. As if not done, they still go around crediting the recent gains by the Naira against the US Dollar to the politician cum businessman, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah. That level of daftness is quite nauseating; especially coming from supposedly educated people.

It was revered Professor Akin Oyebode, a professor of law who first claimed Mrs. Kemi Adeosun is poorly qualified for the position of Nigeria’s Minister for Finance and his only reason was that she couldn’t gain admission to Harvard Business School(HBS). Excuse me!!! When did attending Harvard become criteria for choosing finance ministers? How many Harvard ex Nigerian Finance Ministers have rescued Nigeria from financial deep? Is it because the cerebral young woman doesn’t come out to bamboozle the public with economic jargons and esoteric figures?

As per her qualification, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of East London and a Masters in Public Finance from the University of South London with membership of all the relevant accounting professional bodies in UK and Nigeria aside working for Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) and top financial houses with experience spanning some 22 years. She was also Commissioner for Finance of Ogun State for 4 years (2011-2015) where she did wonders in raising the IGR several folds and keeping the books clean paving the way for her meritorious rise to her present position. Not even Chief Okotie Eboh or Pat Utomi or Charles Soludo were as experienced as Kemi now when they got appointed to pivotal positions as economic adviser, Minister of Finance, and CBN Governor respectively. Pat Utomi was appointed Economic Adviser to President Shagari at age 27. How much experience had he at the time? Same age was also Chief Okotie Eboh. Charles Soludo was made CBN governor and did very well even with zero work experience. Only academic consultations and teaching;for which top bankers and captains of industries cried wolf. Let’s give Kemi Adeosun a chance to prove herself and fortunately she’s been doing great and putting up a lot of sacrifice. Am I the only one noticing her weight loss and (apparent) slight aging since becoming minister?

The position of Finance Minister or any office is not the preserve of anyone or group of people and everyone must not be judged according to other people’s standards. The fastest rising economies in the world weren’t built by Harvard or Ivy League grads neither did the World Bank and IMF hawks give them a chance when they were building from foundation. Auntie Kemi is young, beautiful, and brilliant with the grit and grace to lead Nigeria’s economy to Eldorado whether naysayers like or believe her or not.

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