People & Money

WTO: Buhari Pledges Support for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday assured former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of the nation’s support in her bid to become the director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

Buhari made the promise on Monday when Okonjo-Iweala paid him a visit at the presidential villa.

The pesident noted that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is deserving of the job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country.

Also Read: WTO DG: China Likely to Ditch Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee for Okonjo-Iweala

“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,’’ Buhari said.

“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 comments, Okonjo-Iweala said she is proud to be a Nigerian, urging the president 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.”

Also Read: Almost There, Okonjo-Iweala Makes it to Last Voting Round for  WTO’s Leadership

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.

“Mr President, put a smile on my face. I am very proud of the country.’’

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean minister of trade, are the two final candidates for the WTO top job.

Either of the duo will become the first female WTO DG in its 25-year-old history.

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