President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, October 12, promised 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).
Recall that the President had earlier in the day, had a closed-door meeting with Dr. Ngozi Okongo-Iweala.
In a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, with the title, “We’ll Push, Push Until You Win – President Buhari Assures Okonjo-Iweala”.
Mallam Shehu, in the statement, revealed that the President assured Dr. Okonjo-Iweala of his utmost support in her bid to become the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
The Presidential spokesman wrote in the statement, “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.”
President Buhari said, “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 assured Dr. Okonjo-Iweala that he will make more phone calls, and send letters to some world leaders for more support.”
He told Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, “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.
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.
She said, “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.’’
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala 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 Ouattara 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.’’
She said, “Mr. President put a smile on my face. I am very proud of the country.’’ [Newsbreakers]
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