Home / Arts & Entertainment / How Okonjo-Iweala celebrated her 70th birthday; Tinubu, Ohanaeze, Obi hail Amazon, global icon
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala surrounded by bouquets of flowers

How Okonjo-Iweala celebrated her 70th birthday; Tinubu, Ohanaeze, Obi hail Amazon, global icon

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal with her husband, Dr. Ikemba Iweala

First female Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Nigeria-born Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala celebrated her 70th birthday on Thursday, June 13, 2024, with her husband, Dr. Ikemba Iweala, an equally internationally acknowledged and celebrated neurosurgeon by her side.

The first African to head the WTO, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was also overwhelmed with showers of love and touching gifts from far and near, all of which made her to literally exclaim: “I don’t normally do personal tweets, but today (Thursday, June 13, 2024) is an exception! It has been one of the happiest days of my life – my 70th birthday! So much outpouring of love from everywhere!!

“I want to thank all WTO Ambassadors, WTO staff, friends and family! I’ve never received so many bouquets of flowers from all over the world, as I have today! Along with good wishes and prayers. I consider myself blessed to have a loving husband, family, friends and well wishers! All Glory and Thanks to God!”

Among the countless birthday greetings that went out to the former Managing Director of the World Bank were those from her home country’s President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, another from Ohanaeze Ndigbo and one from the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Mr. Peter Obi.
President Tinubu, while rejoicing with the high profile celebrant and her family on the landmark occasion, extolled “the former Minister of Finance for her service to the nation and efforts towards building resilient institutions,” as well as “for being a worthy ambassador of Nigeria, exemplifying the grit, diligence, and brilliance that Nigerians are known for.”
The President, in his message by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, his Special Adviser (Media & Publicity), also prayed for many more years in good health for Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and for her family.
In its message of congratulations, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, through Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, its world-wide President General, hailed Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, a Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), as “one of our best; a cerebral modest woman of substance, a distinctive

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala with Mr. Peter Obi

global icon, a renowned development economist, a beacon of light, daughter and wife of inestimable value, the former Nigerian Minister of Finance, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Coordinating Minister of Economy and the first African and female Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

Noting that her “trajectory is a veritable testament to the audacity of intellectual prowess, hard work, competence, self-confidence, humility, prudence and service to humanity,” Ohanaeze Ndigbo stressed that Okonjo-Iweala, who is a source of pride has distinguished herself everywhere: “at the Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Brookings Institution, World Bank and in the Nigerian government, among others.
“Nigerians will always recall with nostalgia, the various economic reforms that Okonjo Iweala introduced into the Nigerian financial institutions as a Minister of Finance: under President Olusegun Obasanjo, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club which led to the wiping out of about US 30 Billion of Nigeria’s debt, including the outright cancellation of US 18 Billion in favour of Nigeria.”
The apex pan Igbo organization also recalled that “Ikonjo-Iweala introduced the monthly publication of the federal, state and local government shares of revenue from the country’s federation account,” pointing out that  the keynote address she delivered “at the South East Economic Summit at Owerri, Imo State, on September 28, 2023 still reverberates with profound wisdom, and instructive reflections.”

Mr. Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, while congratulating Dr. Okonjo-Iweala on her 70th birthday, pointed out that she has “continued to enjoy the trust and confidence of governments around the world due to her honesty, integrity and commitment to the advancement of the cause of humanity.”

He concluded that “she stands as a symbol of success and role model to many youths, inspiring them unto greater achievements, while contributing to the nation. May God grant her more healthy and fruitful years as she continues to contribute to a better nation and humanity.”




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