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APC congratulates Okonjo-Iweala on appointment as WTO DG

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the confirmation of the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) is indicative that anybody can achieve any positive feat with hard work and diligence.

Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), said this in a statement late Monday while congratulating Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment.

“For the marginalised groups, particularly women, the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala is a pointer that the world is fast changing.

“Anybody can achieve any positive feat with hard work, diligence and pursuit of excellence, we hope this serves as an inspiration to all,” he said.

Akpanudoedehe added that the APC was proud to note that Okonjo-Iweala’s mandate to head the WTO followed broad support from members of the global trade body.

He expressed confidence that Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned economist, would successfully lead the needed reforms to reposition the WTO to effectively deliver on its mandate to promote open and fair trade for the benefit of all.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought its challenges on member nation’s economies.

“It is heartwarming that Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has chosen to prioritise the ramping up of health and economic global efforts to combat COVID-19,” Akpanudoedehe said.

It was reported that Okonjo-Iweala, a two-time Nigeria’s finance minister under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan is the first female and first African to lead the WTO.

She had worked at the World Bank, where she rose to the number two position as its Managing Director.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was appointed on Feb. 15 to head the WTO as it seeks to resolve disagreements over how it decides cases involving billions in sales and thousands of jobs.

She was appointed WTO Director-General by representatives of the 164 member-countries, according to a statement from the body.

Her appointment came after the US President Joe Biden endorsed her candidacy, which had been blocked by former President Donald Trump.

Okonjo-Iweala, in an earlier statement, said her first priority would be to address the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to implement the policy responses needed to get the global economy going again.

“Our organisation faces a great many challenges, but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today,” she was quoted as saying.

Emmanuel Mogbede

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