At a meeting on Wednesday with the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonathan Richardson, Nigeria’s Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that the administration will not have a position for coordinating minister of the economy as obtained under the Goodluck Jonathan administration where former finance minister Okonjo-Iweala Ngozi also doubled as coordinating minister of the economy.
“We are not going to have a system like where there was a coordinating minister. No, there would not be anything like that,” Osinbajo said. The vice president’s subsequent statement however showed that the reason why there would be nobody coming in as coordinating minister of the economy is because there is already one: The vice-president himself.
Hear him: “As vice-president, my role is to ensure that everyone that is involved in economic activities is coordinated in such a way that the president is fully briefed of what everyone is doing, such that we are all on the same page and to make it easier for the president to make decisions.”
Osinbajo was basically reading out the job description of the person who coordinates the economy. Interestingly, Wednesday’s event was not the first time Osinbajo was making allusions to his role as coordinator of the economy. A few weeks ago in Abuja, during the National Economic Summit in Abuja, Osinbajo was asked why the president was absent at the Summit. His response: The president had some other national engagements to attend to, but as vice president, he said, his role was to supervise the economy.
So there you have it. But if the vice president feels that attaching ‘minister’ to his title is a little beneath his office, we can strike that out. How about: Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria and Coordinator of the economy.