Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and President Buhari
By Our Reporter
The aspiration by Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to emerge as the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) has received a boost as she got the support of President Muhammudu Buhari.
The president assured the former minister of total support and added that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she emerge the WTO boss.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is one of two candidates left in the race to fill the top position of the multilateral institution.
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,’’ he added.
‘I 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.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala 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.
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.’’
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also thanked 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.