South Korean trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, on Friday (Feb 5) dropped her bid to become head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), clearing the way for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the global body’s director-general.

Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has expressed delight over the appointment of Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

The regional group in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said: “It gives us great pleasure to extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the first African and first female Director-General of the global organization.

“PANDEF is enormously proud of Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s attainments and of the great honour she has brought to Nigeria, and the Niger Delta region in particular, by this appointment. She has been so balanced and focused and deserves all the praises she is now receiving.

“Her unanimous selection by the 164- member countries of the WTO is a clear statement of recognition and appreciation of her remarkable contributions to the global finance and development sector during her time at the World Bank, and twice as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, as well as her other previous assignments in the global space.

“At a time, the country is being overawed by a myriad of challenges, with distressing happenings day-to-day, the news of her appointment was like a sweet tonic to the generality of Nigerians, within and outside the shores of the nation.

“It has generated so much positive excitement across Nigeria and serves as a reassurance that the global community still recognizes that there are topnotch human resources in Nigeria, despite the awful goings-on in the country.

“We congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and all Nigerians, particularly people of the South-South geo-political zone on her historic appointment. We further commend Mr President for his firm support for the aspiration of Dr Okonjo-Iweala, as well as other African leaders for their solidarity. This appointment has, again, no doubt, raised the image of Nigeria in the world,” PANDEF added.

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