Home News WTO: Buhari reassures Okonjo-Iweala of support

WTO: Buhari reassures Okonjo-Iweala of support

by Our Reporter
President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured Nigeria’s former Minister of
Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of the country’s determination to
ensure that she becomes the Director-General of the World Trade
Organisation (WTO).

Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee advanced to the final
round in the race to lead the Geneva-based trade body.

Malam Garba Shehu, President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and
Publicity, in a statement, said Buhari gave the assurance when he
received the former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank at
the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.

He said the former minister deserved more support to get the top job
because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the

“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,’’ he added.

The president assured Okonjo-Iweala that he would make more phone calls,
and send letters to some world leaders for more support.

“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,’’ he further told Okonjo-Iweala.

In her remarks, Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked
the president and his ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign
Affairs and Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.

“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 round the clock to ensure that I
succeed,’’ she said.

The former Minister 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

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. I am very proud of the country.’’

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