Buhari, Govs, NASS congratulate Okonjo Iweala as WTO Boss

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who recently emerged as the first woman and first African to head the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has continued to receive congratulations from different quarters worldwide.

President Muhhamadu Buhari, speaking his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying that the development had brought joy and more honour to the country.

Shehu, in a statement, said, “On behalf of the Federal Government and all Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her election as Director General of the World Trade Organisation, bringing joy and more honour to the country.

“As the Harvard-educated and renowned economist takes up another onerous task of service to the world and humanity, the President believes her track record of integrity, diligence and passion for development will continue to yield positive results and rewards to mankind.

“The President joins family, friends and colleagues in wishing Dr Okonjo-Iweala well in her new endeavour.”

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, in his speech on behalf of the Federal Government, delivered via Zoom at the Special General Council Meeting of the organisation in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, said the process of selection was transparent.

The minister described Okonjo-Iweala as one of the few on the global stage that enjoyed high recognition in view of charismatic leadership qualities and proven records of excellence and integrity, along with international political connections.

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, in a statement by his media office, also congratulated Nigeria on the latest feat of its ‘great daughter’ on the international stage.

“With her latest feat, the former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Managing Director of the World Bank has again brought honour to Nigeria, Africa and women everywhere,” Lawan said.

The Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, assured Okonjo-Iweala of the support of her home state and the entire country.

Okowa said, “Over the years, we have all followed your growth and celebrated your noteworthy achievements. This is why, as you begin your new role at the helm of the WTO, I want you to know that you have the unwavering support of both your home state and your country.”

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the minority caucus in the House also congratulated the new WTO boss.

Gbajabiamila, in a statement issued on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said Okonjo-Iweala’s unanimous confirmation by the WTO was a testament to her years of experience in the financial sector both at home and abroad.

Gbajabiamila said with Okonjo-Iweala’s pedigree, he believed that she would take the WTO to enviable heights during her term as the DG.

The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, in a separate statement, said her emergence as DG of the WTO “has reinforced global confidence in international consensus and recognition of competence and proficiency over provincial considerations.”

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