WTO Leadership: APC, Senate President Congratulates Okonjo-Iweala, Says She Has Brought Honor To Nigeria
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her emergence as the first African and first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The party in a statement on Monday said the confirmation of the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of WTO is indicative that anybody can achieve any positive feat with hard work and diligence.
Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), said, “For the marginalised groups, particularly women, the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala is a pointer that the world is fast changing.
“Anybody can achieve any positive feat with hard work, diligence and pursuit of excellence, we hope this serves as an inspiration to all,” he said.
Akpanudoedehe added that the APC was proud to note that Okonjo-Iweala’s mandate to head the WTO followed broad support from members of the global trade body.
He expressed confidence that Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned economist, would successfully lead the needed reforms to reposition the WTO to effectively deliver on its mandate to promote open and fair trade for the benefit of all.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought its challenges on member nation’s economies.
“It is heartwarming that Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has chosen to prioritise the ramping up of health and economic global efforts to combat COVID-19,” Akpanudoedehe said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okonjo-Iweala, a two-time Nigeria’s finance minister under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan is the first female and first African to lead the WTO.
She had worked at the World Bank, where she rose to the number two position as its Managing Director.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was appointed on Feb. 15 to head the WTO as it seeks to resolve disagreements over how it decides cases involving billions in sales and thousands of jobs
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She was appointed WTO Director-General by representatives of the 164 member-countries, according to a statement from the body.
Her appointment came after the US President Joe Biden endorsed her candidacy, which had been blocked by former President Donald Trump.
Okonjo-Iweala, in an earlier statement, said her first priority would be to address the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to implement the policy responses needed to get the global economy going again.
“Our organisation faces a great many challenges, but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today,” she was quoted as saying.
Also, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, sent his congratulatory message to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her emergence as the first African and first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In a statement released by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser on Media to the Senate President, Lawan also congratulates Nigeria on the latest feat of its great daughter on the international stage.
He applauds the quiet but dogged diplomacy of Nigeria and the unwavering commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari which, no doubt, contributed to the acknowledgement of the sterling credentials of Dr Okonjo-Iweala and her ultimate triumph in the prolonged contest for the very important position.
“I heartily rejoice with Dr Okonjo-Iweala on this well-deserved victory. 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 says.
The Senate President urged the new Director-General to deploy her famed intellect, experience, energy and integrity in leading the WTO to promote global prosperity through fair trade.
Lawan says her task has been made even more onerous by the havoc that the Covid-19 pandemic has wrecked on economies across the world.
He prays for Almighty God to imbue her with good health and wisdom to succeed in the task.
File Photo: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, newly installed DG of the WTO