Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has received an honorary Doctorate degree from Yale University, one of the United State of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
The Minister was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters at Yale’s 2015 Commencement Ceremony in New Haven, Connecticut Monday.
She will be only the second Nigerian in the university’s 314-year history to receive its highest honour after Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka who received an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1980.
Giving out the award, the President of the University Professor Peter Salovey described Okonjo-Iweala as “a brilliant reformer and dedicated public servant.”
He went on to state that the Minister “has spearheaded efforts to stabilize and grow Nigeria’s economy, battling widespread government corruption and creating greater fiscal transparency and discipline.”
Yale’s honorary doctorate degree is seen globally as a very important honour.
According to the institution “those who have received honorary degree are scholars, public servants, Nobel Prize winners and heads of states.
“Collectively, they represent the aspirations of this institution. Yale honorary degree recipients serve as models of excellence and service to our students, to our graduates, to our community and to the world,” the institution says.
As Finance Minister in 2004, Okonjo-Iweala and the economic team that she led helped Nigeria obtain debt relief, wiping out $30 billion of Paris club debt, leading to a tripling of the growth rates.