Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.

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Political Superwomen (Part 2)

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. Her research interests include economic development, political economy and trade.

This article is Part II of a series. Read Part I here

Even as we call for greater female representation in Nigerian leadership, it would be counterproductive to pretend that all female politicians are angels. After all, former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke has been the subject of many allegations of graft, most recently one involving $6.9 million diverted for the purchase of mobile stages for the Jonathan reelection campaign. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who served as Minister of Finance under two former presidents, Goodluck and Obasanjo was recently described by the latter as having "derailed" during her more recent term in office. And recently elected Senator Stella Oduah lost her position as Minister of Aviation last year amidst misappropriation and certificate forgery scandals. 

Apples and Oranges 

Given the controversy surrounding these high-profile female ministerial appointees, it might seem reasonable to conclude that women do not make good leaders, at least not in Nigeria anyway. Perhaps the low rates of female electoral success is down to their poor performance when in government. But this is a spurious line of reasoning. The truth is, going by sheer numbers, Nigeria has had many more good male politicians than good female politicians but it has also had more bad male leaders than bad female leaders. Simply because we have had many more men in power than women.

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