Gov Ortom congratulates Okonjo-Iweala as DG WTO

By Our Reporter

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has congratulated Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The governor says the historic emergence of Dr Okonjo-Iweala as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO attests to her impeccable record of public service at national and international levels.

According to a release signed by Governor Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase Monday and made available to The Voice, the governor expressed confidence in the ability of the former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance to bring her wealth of experience to bear on her stewardship of the World Trade Organisation.

“Governor Ortom wishes Dr Okonjo-Iweala a successful tenure,” it said.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was confirmed DG of the trade body in a statement by the WTO on Monday.

The United States government had last week announced its endorsement of Mrs Okonjo-Iweala for the top job.

It became clear earlier on Friday that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank executive, would likely clinch the coveted post after her final challenger to the position, South Korean Trade Minister and candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, announced her withdrawal.

Ms Yoo made the decision after discussions with the U.S. and other major nations, a statement from Korea’s trade ministry said on Friday.

She also took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalise the multilateral organisation, reports said Friday.

Last October, the World Trade Organisation selected Mrs Okonjo-Iweala and Ms Yoo to advance to the final round in the race to lead the Geneva-based trade body.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was Nigeria’s finance minister during the tenures of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. She has experience working at international governance bodies as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation.

With Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence, the WTO now has its first female director-general in its 25-year history.

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