President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf honors Dr Ngozi former Finance Minister of Nigeria
Liberia Admits Dr. Okonjo-Iweala Into Order of African Redemption
MONROVIA, December 12 (LINA) - Former Nigerian Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been admitted as Grand Master of the Orders of Distinction.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with the Grade of Dame Grand Commander by President Ellen Johnson Sireaf at an investiture ceremony at the weekend in Monrovia.
President Sirleaf pointed out that the ceremony was “a long awaited one in honor of a champion for African women.”
"Ngozi is a real leader and a true champion not just for Nigeria but for the whole of Africa. She has demonstrated a strong sense of patriotism, commitment, integrity, sincerity and competence. While at the World Bank, she was there for us when it all started in 2006 when Liberia was at the ground floor, to where we are today; you are an example of real competence," President Sirleaf said.
She congratulated Dr. Okonjo-Iweala for her diligence and for being an example of women who have set examples of competence, integrity, commitment and patriotism in all that she undertook while serving not just as a Managing Director of the World Bank but as a great friend of Liberia.
The Liberian leader recognized the role of the former World Bank official in resolving Liberia's debt crisis from the Nigerian Government under the Nigeria Trust Funds at the AfDB.
"You were instrumental in helping Liberia on the debt crisis by taking our case to the Nigerian parliament and the President of your country at the time. You have actually been a champion for professional African women on the continent and because of that, Liberia wants to give you an honor and we want to see you continue as the light in the darkness for the rest of Africa," she said.
President Sirleaf acknowledged Dr. Okonjo-Iweala's role in collaborating with the Paris Club to successfully write off Nigeria's debts to the outside world during her tenure as the Minister of Finance of Nigeria.
Responding, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala indicated that she was completely overwhelmedby the honor bestowed upon her by President Sirleaf and the Government of Liberia.
"I am very overwhelmed for receiving this honor for two reasons: Firstly, because I am being recognized by a woman who is highly recognized and respected by the whole world. The kinds of respect that she commands from around the world are overwhelming and like to congratulate her for her leadership.
“Secondly, this is the first time that I have been in Liberia in many years, particularly Monrovia, to be cut up in traffic jam like I was in Lagos speaks of real progress here," she noted.
The Nigerian former Finance Minister mentioned that despite some tough time faced by Liberia, including the civil war and Ebola crisis, she was impressed about the changes that have taken place and the progress made under President Sirleaf.
"President Sirleaf is an amazing grace under pressure. An amazing grace that has shown fortitude and leadership despite the challenges she has been through as a leader" Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala pointed out.
She commended President Sirleaf and the Government for the honor, noting that she and her family will forever remember Liberia for the honor, thanking the Liberian leader who she referred to as her mentor and hero.
The ceremony was attended by senior government officials, including members of the Cabinet, Legislature, and diplomatic corps among others.