Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Saturday revealed that she returned to Nigeria from Harvard University to "fix the public procurement system" of the country.
Speaking at the launch of the Red Card Movement in Lagos, Ezekwesili said she did not come home to become a Minister or join governance but to improve the standard of the economy.
“I came back to come and do what became known as 'due process' to ensure that we get value for the money spent in the country. Before I came, ministers were of the act of giving money out anyhow but when I came in, I ensured it was stopped,” she said.
Speaking of her desire to build a good Nigeria, Ezekwesili asserted that she desires a country that can stand side by side with other developed countries of the world.
“I want a Nigeria that is governed well, a Nigeria that will overtake Singapore. A Nigeria where I can sit back and watch Nigerian children conquer the world; that’s the Nigeria I am fighting for.”
Responding to critics that she is part of the movement for personal gains and position in government, Ezekwesili maintained that she has been fighting against poor governance since military dictatorship. She further hinted that she has been in government and has the opportunity to take whatever she would need but she is more concerned about building a Nigeria where the children of the poor would have access to same education the children of the rich do.
“I have been fighting against poor governance for long, I was involved in the fight against military and led concerned professionals that were advocating for good governance in this country even against the military dictator, Abacha.”
“If I am looking for something, I would have got it or stole when I was in government; I am not looking for anything, so anybody that is saying I am fighting so I can be given position. I don’t need anything from anybody that would make me act."
CORRIGENDUM: This report was originally headlined, in error, 'I Came Back To Nigeria From Harvard To Fix The Country, Says Ezekwesili'. It has since been brought to our notice that Ezekwesili was specific about returning to fix the "public procurement prcess" rather than "the country". We apologise for the error; the headline was modified immediately it was brought to our notice.