President Muhammadu Buhari has again assured Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that his administration will give all the necessary support for her to emerge as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The President gave the assurance on Monday when he hosted the former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Naija News reports that Okonjo-Iweala, a former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank is one of the two final candidates in the race to become the next DG of the World Trade Organization.
Buhari during their meeting on Monday, has assured her that she will be given all the necessary support for her to clinch the job just as Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina was supported to emerge president of the African Development Bank.
The president also expressed confidence in her abilities and capabilities which she has exhibited in various other positions in the past.
The details of the discussion between the two leaders was made available to Naija News in a statement signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
The statement reads:
“President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Dr 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 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,’’ he added.
The President assured Dr Okonjo-Iweala that he will 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,’’ the President told Dr Okonjo-Iweala.”
In her remarks, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of 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 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.’’
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