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.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor commended Okonjo-Iweala 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.
Okowa described the WTO boss as a brilliant, competent, world-class economist and international development expert whose works over the years had distinguished her internationally.
“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,” he said.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on the occasion of your 67th birth anniversary.
“I join your family, global partners and associates, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for your life which has been marked by robustly sterling accomplishments and abounding fulfillment.
“As you deservedly celebrate this anniversary, it is my prayer that Almighty God continues to bless you with good health and more years of happiness and contributions to nation-building,” Okowa added.