Congratulatory messages have continued to pour in for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The Igbo World Union (IWU), in a statement in Umuahia, Abia State, shortly after a virtual conference, involving members, both in Nigeria and diaspora, through its President General, Mishak Nnanta, enjoined Okonjo-Iweala to strengthen WTO in its mission to promote free trade among market economies.
He said the collective decision, in the choice of the former minister of finance, by WTO membership demonstrates a vote of trust not only in Okonjo-Iweala, but also in the member nation’s vision, expectation and the multilateral trading system that they all believe and preserve.
Nnanta expressed confidence that Okonjo-Iweala will bring to bear on her new assignment, the depth of international experience, deft diplomatic manoeuvres, excellence in cross-border relationship management and unassailable credentials in global economic development.
National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), in a statement by its National President, Laraba Shoda, said her emergence was a blessing to Africa and Nigeria in particular.
“I am happy the prayers of Nigerian women were not in vain. Our prayers were for her to be declared the consensus director general of the WTO, even when it tarried, it finally came to pass and we thank God for the declaration.
“She is, indeed, the first African and the first woman to occupy the prestigious position. “Undoubtedly, Okonjo-Iweala is a shining light and a beam of hope to Nigerian women, African women and to women around the globe.”
Also,a Benin businessman, Moses Omo-Ikirodah said Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment is coming at a very difficult time due to the unfortunate COVID-19 global pandemic and urged the trailblazer to hit the ground running.
He said he was confident she would bring her wealth of diplomatic experience in handling disputes among member nations.
“Her appointment never took Nigerians by surprise as we have witnessed the trajectory of her global achievements which was well earned through hard work, patriotism, commitment, transparency, discipline and integrity,” he said.
“Nigerians are confident that our own Okonjo-Iweala would be an unbiased umpire in mediating in the United States and China trade war. Her diplomacy is needed to arbitrate disputes between trade member nations.
“As a disciplined two-time finance minister who spearheaded Nigeria’s famous debt relief, we are convinced she would encourage the voice of Africa in global trade.
“There is a lot of work to do and she needs to start working from day one. We never wished for a better personality than Okonjo-Iweala,” he said.