Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has described Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as a brilliant, competent, world-class economist and international development expert.
In a statement by his chief press secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor congratulated her as she clocks 67 years, stating that her works over the years had distinguished her internationally.
While commending her for her tremendous and outstanding accomplishments in the service of Nigeria and global monetary community, he said that Okonjo-Iweala had made remarkable contributions to the development of Nigeria’s economy, especially as a two-time minister of finance in the administrations of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.
Governor Okowa said:
Proudly, your rich profile has continued to soar, and I recall that you were named ‘Euro-money Global Finance Minister’ in 2005 after you led Nigeria’s economy to exit foreign debt obligations during your first term under President Obasanjo.
And, under your astute leadership, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) carried out a re-basing exercise of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the first in 24 years, which saw Nigeria emerging as the largest economy in Africa.
It is also on record that you introduced the practice of publishing in the newspapers, each state’s monthly financial allocation from the Federation Account and that action has contributed in hoisting and emphasising transparency in governance in the country.
With the support of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the Federal Government, you built an electronic financial management platform – Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), including the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), helping to curtail corruption in the process.
These feats remain largely unprecedented till date.
Okonjo-Iweala, an illustrious Deltan from Ogwashi-Uku, is the first female director-general and first African to lead the global trade body in its 25-year history.