Source AP ©

Former Nigerian Finance Minister to become World Bank managing director

A high-level post at the World Bank was given to former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

She will become a World Bank managing director along with Graeme Wheeler of New Zealand and Juan Jose Daboub of El Salvador.

Okonjo-Iweala will have responsibility for the bank's Africa, South Asia, Europe and central Asia regions.

"As an outstanding minister of finance and foreign minister in Nigeria, Ngozi helped lead the country's reform program on issues of fiscal prudence, transparency of government accounts, good governance and anti-corruption," Zoellick said in a statement.

She played a major role in getting Switzerland to return to Nigeria millions of dollars looted by the country's late military ruler, Sani Abacha.

Okonjo-Iweala was known outside Nigeria as a corruption buster and seen as a key figure in helping secure the cancellation of $30 billion (21.2 billion EUR) of Nigeria's debt.

"As far as the international community was concerned, Ngozi was the face of reform in Nigeria," Antony Goldman, a London-based market analyst, said in August 2006 when she resigned from the government in a political dispute. "International banks, creditors and finance ministries all looked to her."

Before joining the government, Okonjo-Iweala held a number of positions at the World Bank since she began working there in 1992. An economist by profession, she was educated at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.