Nigeria promises to canvass more support for WTO nominee, Okonjo-Iweala
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the country
Nigeria has said that it will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that its nominee for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emerges at the end of the race.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who gave the assurance while hosting Okonjo-Iweala said the Nigeria’s former finance minister deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the world.
“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,” the president said.
Buhari promised to make more phone calls, and send letters to some world leaders for more support for the country’s candidate for the WTO top job.
“I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,” Buhari said.
Okonjo-Iweala is one of two candidates contesting for the top position of the multilateral institution.
President Buhari, who received the former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank at the Presidential Villa, said she
In her remark, Okonjo-Iweala expressed appreciation to the president, the ministers of foreign affairs and trade and investment and the entire country for the huge support for her candidature.
“I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed,’’ she said.
The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning, in particular, the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
She asked the President to “make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thank others for their support.’’
“Mr President, put a smile on my face,’’ she said, “I am very proud of the country.”