New WTO Director General Okonjo-Iweala will excel in her new position, says President Buhari
Nigeria’s newly appointed World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will excel in her new position and validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the multilateral institution for the greater good of all.
According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the ex-World Bank managing director has brought “joy and more honour to the country” by her election as the new chief executive of the global trade watchdog.
In a statement signed by the Senior special assistant on media to the president, Shehu Garba, “the President believes her track record of integrity, diligence and passion for development will continue to yield positive results and rewards to mankind.”
“President Buhari affirms that Okonjo-Iweala, who over the years set major records of economic reforms in Nigeria as Minister of Finance, and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, will excel in her new position and validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the multilateral institution for the greater good of all.
“The President joins family, friends and colleagues in wishing Dr Okonjo-Iweala well in her new endeavour,” the president was quoted in the statement.
Okonjo-Iweala on Monday was announced as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as she made history as the first female to head the multilateral trade organisation.
Okonjo-Iwealais who will become the first woman and the first African to be chosen as Director-General is expected to resume office on March 1, 2021. Her term, renewable, will expire on August 31, 2025.
“I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General,” said Okonjo-Iweala.
“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.
“Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today,” she said shortly after her appointment on Monday.
The WTO General Council decision follows months of uncertainty that arose when the United States initially refused to join the consensus around Okonjo-Iweala and threw its support behind Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea.
But following Yoo’s decision on February 5, to withdraw her candidacy, the administration of newly elected US President Joe Biden dropped the US objection and announced instead that Washington extends its “strong support” to the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala.