Tinubu, WTO, Oborevwori Laud Okonjo-Iweala on 70th Birthday

By Joke Kujenya

HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS have been pouring in for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in honour of her 70th birthday on Thursday.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu also extended his congratulations in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, praising Okonjo-Iweala’s exemplary service and achievements.

“The President celebrates the distinguished leader and her family on this joyous occasion,” the statement read. “He praises the former Minister of Finance for her unwavering commitment to national service and her significant contributions towards establishing resilient institutions.”

President Tinubu further lauded Okonjo-Iweala for her role as an exemplary ambassador of Nigeria, embodying the nation’s renowned qualities of resilience, diligence, and intelligence. He extended his prayers for her continued good health and many more years of impactful contributions.

Renowned for her expertise in global finance and economic policy, Okonjo-Iweala has had a trailblazing career. Born on June 13, 1954, she holds the distinction of being the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO, a position she has held since March 2021.

Her tenure as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, where she led critical economic reforms and negotiated significant debt relief, further cemented her legacy as a transformative leader. Additionally, her tenure as Managing Director at the World Bank showcased her dedication to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State also extended his congratulations, acknowledging Okonjo-Iweala’s remarkable contributions. In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Festus Ahon, Oborevwori lauded her as a beacon of professionalism and integrity.

“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a shining example for all, especially women, and her remarkable achievements bring pride to Delta State and Nigeria as a whole,” Oborevwori stated. He highlighted her pivotal role in Nigeria’s economic development and her esteemed position on the global stage.

The Governor reflected on Okonjo-Iweala’s achievements, noting her innovative contributions during her tenures as Finance Minister under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.

He expressed gratitude for her relentless dedication to advancing Nigeria’s economic standing and enhancing transparency and accountability in governance.

“As we celebrate your 70th birthday, we take immense pride in your accomplishments, which have garnered worldwide recognition,” Oborevwori added.

“On behalf of my family, the Delta State government, and our people, I extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for your continued health, happiness, and impactful work.”

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala expressed her gratitude for the warm messages, including a personal acknowledgment of President Tinubu’s gesture on social media and thanked all well-wishers, emphasizing the honour of serving her nation and contributing to global economic development.

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