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WTO DG: Buhari, Lawan, Ekweremadu, Congratulate Okonjo-Iweala
By Deji Elumoye
The emergence on Monday of Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first female Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has elicited reactions from the executive and the legislative arms describing her election as a good thing to happen to Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari said Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence has brought more honour and joy to the nation.
A release signed by his Media Assistant, Garba Shehu, said the President on behalf of all Nigerians felicitated with former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her election as Director General of the World Trade Organisation.
The statement saidas the Harvard-educated and renowned economist takes up another onerous task of service to the world and humanity, the President believed her track record of integrity, diligence and passion for development will continue to yield positive results and rewards to mankind.
Buhari affirmed that Okonjo-Iweala, who over the years set major records of economic reforms in Nigeria as Minister of Finance, and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, will excel in her new position and validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the multilateral institution for the greater good of all.
The President joined family, friends and colleagues in wishing Okonjo-Iweala well in her latest calling.
On his part, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, while congratulating Okonjo-Iweala on her election also applauded Nigeria on the latest feat of its great daughter on the international stage.
Lawan, in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, hailed the quiet but dogged diplomacy of Nigeria and the unwavering commitment of President Buhari which, no doubt, contributed to the acknowledgement of the sterling credentials of Okonjo-Iweala and her ultimate triumph in the prolonged contest for the very important position.
According to him, with her latest feat, the former Nigerian Minister of Finance and former Managing Director of the World Bank has again brought honour to Nigeria, Africa and women everywhere.
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 stressed that her task has been made even more onerous by the havoc that the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked on economies across the world.
In another congratulatory message, the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, described Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as WTO DG as historic and momentous.
Ekweremadu, in a release issued on his behalf by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, submitted that Okonjo-Iweala had 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”.
The ranking Senator, however, pointed out that for Nigeria to benefit meaningfully from the leadership and reforms the World Bank veteran is expected to bring to bear on the WTO, the Federal Government must come up with a 21st Century National Trade Policy that would better position the country for global trade.
He equally urged the nation to learn the lesson in Okonjo-Iweala’s ultimate victory, among them the fact that Nigeria would always win when the country puts her best foot forward.
His words: “Her emergence as well as the appointment and election of many Nigerians into important positions around the world also leaves us with the lesson that we have the requisite human resources to turn our country around if we put competence over and above every narrow consideration.
“Also, unlike on several occasions in the past when we lost important international leadership positions and roles even at the African Union and ECOWAS levels, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s victory shows that we can always triumph at the global level by putting our best foot forward”.