The Deputy President of Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has expressed excitement at the emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
According to him, her emergence attests to the excellence of the womenfolk in Nigeria across every walk of life.
The Deputy President of the Senate 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.
“I join in felicitating with one of us, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on her emergence as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. This did not come to me as a surprise considering her rich resumé as Managing Director of the World Bank, two-time Finance Minister in Nigeria, Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, co-chair of Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation among others.
“In spite of considerable challenges, Nigerian women have continued to demonstrate capacity and competence in various roles and it is no mere conjecture that if given the chance, they can provide quality leadership,” he stated.
Appointment signals hope for Nigerian women – Groups
By Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos, Feb. 15, 2021
Meanwhile, some women groups on Monday said the appointment of Dr Okonjo-Iweala, was a sign of hope for Nigerian women.
The women who expressed their views in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, were hopeful that soon more women would assume positions of leadership in notable organisations around the world.
Mrs Betty Abah, Executive Director/Women and Children’s Rights Advocate, the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-HOPE) said Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment was a good omen for Nigerian women.
“Her victory is a testimony to the resilience of the Nigerian spirit and also the fact that when it comes to competence, there is no gender barrier.
“She is a harbinger of hope for the Nigerian woman and girl that we can play at the global stage when given the platform and opportunities on even grounds.
“Okonjo-Iweala’s potential has never ever been in doubt but the stumbling blocks, especially those put by former US President Trump looked as if the dream wasn’t going to come true at some point,” Abah said.
Mrs Chile Frank-Udemgba, the convener, Woman and Half Initiative (WAH), said Okonjo-Iweala’s new position would pave the way for more successes for women and the country as a whole.
“I congratulate Okonjo-Iweala. Her position as the new director general is a major win for all women though it comes with great responsibility and we know she will do us proud.
“We expect her to continue to be a role model for strong African women and believe this will pave way for many more successes and will inspire young girls to aspire for the highest positions in any field of choice,” Udemgba said.
Also Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, who was Okonjo-Iweala’s classmate and the 2015 presidential candidate of KOWA party, said her appointment was a sign that women were going higher in leadership roles.
“A very hearty congratulations to her because she was actually my classmate in secondary school and I know the quality that she is bringing to the job.
“I am positive that she would make a good impact.
“It is also a wonderful thing for women that we will continue to climb higher. We are getting into positions but what we really want for Nigeria is to get into positions of political leadership and decision making.
“That is what we are really looking forward to, but we are very happy that this has happened,” Sonaiya said.
NAN reports that Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment was announced on Monday at a special general meeting of the WTO.
The General Council agreed by consensus to select Okonjo-Iweala as the organisation’s seventh D-G.
When she takes office on March 1, she will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as D-G of the world trade body. Her term, though renewable, will expire on 31 August 2025.