Nigeria: Omo-Agege Hails First African WTO DG

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (file photo).
16 February 2021

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has hailed the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first female Director General of the WTO.

Omo-Agege, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Yomi Odunuga, while expressing excitement at Okonjo-Iweala's appointment further stressed that her emergence attests to the excellence of the womenfolk in Nigeria across every walk of life.

He also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari and other global leaders who rendered their unalloyed support for the renowned economist and international development expert despite the initial hiccups that trailed her nomination.

We Wish Her Successful Tenure, Say Govs

The Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) has also hailed the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In a statement signed by the Head of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello Barkindo, the governors wished her a successful tenure.

"Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala's pedigree as a well-known global development economist, who has served at some of the most prestigious global financial institutions, apart from her illustrious years as Nigeria's Finance Minister raises hopes around the world that her tenure at the WTO will herald remarkable changes in the face of the economic challenges currently afflicting the world.

"The woman of firsts as she is fondly known, because of her accomplishments, brings along exciting news that being a Nigerian would give visibility and credibility to the nation," they added.

Her Victory, Well-deserved, Says Abiodun

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has said it is victory at last while congratulating two- time Finance Minister of Nigeria, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo - Iweala on her victory as the Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Abiodun said Okonjo Iweala's victory as the first African woman to win the global international organisation position came as a result of her hard work, resilience and dedication to duty.

In a statement issued in Abeokuta by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kunle Somorin, the Ogun State governor charged the new WTO boss to see her emergence and success as not only personal or Nigerian's but that of the African region as a whole while appreciating her for making the nation proud.

"We are very proud and confident that you will bring your wealth of experience and spheres of influence to bear towards repositioning the organisation for greater results", Abiodun stated.

Describing the victory as a well-deserved one, Governor Abiodun prayed for God's wisdom for the newly elected Director General and wished her outstanding success in her new endeavors.

Atiku: Her Emergence, Historic

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar welcomed the historic emergence of Nigeria's former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as WTO DG.

Atiku said Okonjo-Iweala is a woman he knows very well, because they worked at close quarters between 2003 and 2007, when she served in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in various capacities, most notably as Finance Minister.

Atiku further said it was not, "hyperbole when I say that no one could be more qualified for the job of Director General of the World Trade Organisation than her, and I congratulate her for her success at being the first female and African DG of the WTO."

"She is an apostle of free trade and an astute manager of people and resources, and the world will be a much more prosperous place by her elevation to this enviable height.", Atiku said.

He said that as the world prepares to emerge from the global pandemic of COVID19, the planet needs a steady hand at the wheel, to drive global trade, and rebuild from the devastation wrought by the virus.

"We would not need someone who thinks they can pull this off. We would need someone who has actually and serially pulled it off before. And that person has emerged.

Ngozi, Africa and Nigeria are proud of you and my family and I are full of joy at your victory. Go to Geneva and make us proud, as we know you will.", Atiku stated.

Okowa Congratulates WTO DG

Delta Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an illustrious daughter of the state from Ogwashi-Uku, for clinching the top WTO job.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, Okowa said he was elated to hear of the successful emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as WTO boss after a very highly competitive and protracted process.

He described Okonjo-Iweala as a brilliant, competent, world-class economist and international development expert whose works over the years had distinguished her globally.

The governor stated that the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala had broken the 24-year-old jinx of a female becoming head of the WTO, adding that she was the first African to lead the global trade body in its 25-year history.

"I am excited to hear of the emergence of our illustrious daughter, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

"Your appointment is indeed, a testament to your competence and experience as a renowned economist and international development expert," he said.

"On behalf of my family, the Government and people of Delta, I congratulate a worthy ambassador of Delta and Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the recognition and appointment.

"As you take on this distinguishing assignment at the big global stage again, I pray and urge you to re-enact that which you have always done - bringing pride and honour to Delta and Nigeria.

"It is without doubt that your pedigree and impeccable footprints in monetary and economic administration in Nigeria and at the World Bank stood you out for this global assignment.

"As you continue in this remarkable trajectory, we wish you success as you mount this new saddle," he stated.

She Possesses Bundle of Skills, Says Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has also hailed the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for her emergence as WTO boss.

In a statement issued yesterday, Obaseki described Okonjo-Iweala as "a fine economist and international development expert has in time past spearheaded several World Bank initiatives as a former Managing Director (Operations) and possesses a bundle of skills and experience required for this elevated role.

"As a two-time finance minister in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala left indelible marks as an astute manager of the nation's economy and resources."

Secondus: Her Emergence, Good News for Troubled Nation

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, welcomed the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, describing it as the most suiting news for a trouble nation in search of its soul due to poor leadership.

Secondus in a congratulatory message from his media office in Abuja said that the victory of Okonjo-Iweala in the highly contested global position mirrors the greatness of tomorrow's Nigeria notwithstanding the failure of today's political leaders

He said Okonjo-Iweala's victory was a reward for hard work and commitment to excellence as she demonstrated in all positions she held nationally and internationally.

"This savoring news coming at this time that the nation is witnessing her worse due to leadership failure is relieving and hope rising that a greater tomorrow awaits this land," he added.

We Wish Her Success, Says OPEC

The Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, in a statement, wished Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala success in her new role to lead the WTO.

"We commend the wisdom of the General Council of the WTO for the historic nature of your appointment, as you are the first woman and first person hailing from the continent of Africa to take up the reigns of the organisation.

"Your candidacy received support from every geographical region and all categories of members recognised in WTO provisions, namely, least-developed countries, developing countries and developed countries.

"I know from your lengthy and successful career as a highly-respected economist, an international development expert who worked for 25 years at the World Bank, a diplomat and your two terms as Finance Minister in Nigeria that you are more than up to the task," he added.

Uzodimma Lauds Her Emergence

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has also felicitated with the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In a statement from his Media Adviser, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, governor Uzodimma said her appointment as the boss of the global body not only brings honour to Nigeria, but shows how Nigerians have continued to impact the world positively.

Uzodimma said Okonjo-Iwuala's track record of achievements as a renowned development economist places her in a position to take the WTO to a level that the whole world would be proud of because of her intelligence, meticulousness and education.

APC Congratulates WTO DG

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) also congratulated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in a statement issued, said the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala was a pointer that the world was fast changing and 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, "We are proud to note that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's mandate to head the WTO followed broad support from members of the global trade body."

Adebayo: Her Selection, Transparent

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, has disclosed that the process leading to the selection of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new WTO DG had been transparent, adding that the credit for the resulting success must go to the entire WTO membership and to the TROIKA.

Adebayo also thanked the regional groupings in the organisation for granting audience and support during and after the exercise.

He assured that the new DG would not disappoint the organisation and all those who worked to make the appointment a reality.

Adebayo, further appealed to members to give the new DG all the cooperation, support and solidarity that would be required for her to work with a view to making the apex trade organisation a truly outstanding multilateral institution.

MAN Hails New WTO DG

The Director General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, has described the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a moment of great excitement, and a plus for Nigeria in the international community, as a welcome development for Africa.

Ajayi-Kadir noted that the AfCFTA would need the support of her expertise for a smooth take-off and steady success as a huge component of the world economy.

He said having an African at the helm of affairs in the WTO should give some comfort and assuage the noticeable anxieties of African countries in the world trade parlance.

LCCI Congratulates Okonjo-Iweala

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has also felicitated with Nigeria on the selection of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Director General, LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, said in a statement that her emergence came at a time when the global trading system was faced with numerous challenges including supply chain disruptions precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, rising protectionism and unilateralism, growing economic nationalism, imposition of trade restrictions covering substantial amount of international trade, as well as trust and credibility concerns among members.

"While the emergence of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as the new WTO Director-General is very gratifying and calls for celebration, there is a need to manage expectations around the outcomes for the Nigerian economy given the numerous productivity and competitiveness issues the country is grappling with.

"Ultimately, these are the factors that would determine the benefits that would accrue to the economy from global trade".

House Minority Caucus Congratulates New WTO Boss

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has congratulated Nigeria's former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her new job.

The caucus in a statement by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, observed that the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as DG of the world trade body has reinforced global confidence in international consensus and recognition of competence and proficiency over provincial considerations.

The lawmakers charged Okonjo Iweala to hit the ground running and bring to bear her skills, connections and wealth of experience in the task of leading the WTO at this trying period in the history of global economy.

The caucus also urged her to have a special focus on Africa and the developing world, particularly at this time of economic recession, which has been worsened by the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her Emergence, Historic, Says Ekweremadu

A former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has described Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's emergence as WTO DG as historic and momentous.

Ekweremadu, in a statement issued on his behalf by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, submitted that Okonjo-Iweala has the poise, experience, flair, pedigree, reach, and global acceptance to excel in her new office adding that "with her emergence, the much needed transformation and democratisation of the WTO to play its expected roles in the 21st Century global economy are imminent."

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