President Muhammadu Buhari, the United States, China and governors on Monday welcomed the announcement of former Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

They said in their congratulatory messages to Okonjo-Iweala on Monday that they had no iota of doubt that she would take the 26-year-old inter-governmental organisation responsible for the regulation of international trade to higher heights.

With her selection, the erstwhile World Bank Managing Director becomes the first black, first African, and first female to lead the trade organisation.

She takes over from Roberto Azevêdo, who stepped down August 31, 2020, a year before the expiration of his mandate.

The WTO had in a terse statement said: “Members have just agreed to appoint Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as the next director-general. Dr Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first African to head the WTO.”

The trade organisation explained that the decision was taken at its general council’s special meeting.

The statement added that Okonjo-Iweala “will assume duties on March 1, while her term will expire on August 31, 2025, but it could be renewed.”