The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has endorsed Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination for election as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The endorsement was revealed in a statement signed by the Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Amb. Ayoola Olukanni, on behalf of the group on Friday.
Last month, Nigeria nominated Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO DG to succeed the current DG, Mr Roberto Azevêdo, who is expected to step down by August ending.
Amb. Ayoola Olukanni said that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala had proved herself both locally and internally as an expert on trade, economics and governance.
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a world-acclaimed economist, adept in the workings of international financial and development systems as an Innovative Manager with a good grasp of the world economy and most importantly, trade, as a tool of development,” he said.
He said her experience in financial systems and global trade has made her an expert consultant to governments across the globe.
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He added that Dr Okonjo-Iweala is very qualified and suited for the role as new Heat of WTO, especially during a global economic downturn caused by the pandemic
“Dr Okonjo-Iweala sits on the Boards of many International Organisations.
“Her performance on the Boards of these organisations show her as being effective and forthright with the required diplomatic skills and a mastery of the intricacies and politics of international trade.
“At this period when the international community is pondering which direction to go, on international trade, the WTO needs an internationalist, a world-class diplomat with an understanding of the world trade system,” he said.
He urged that she would bring the Office to a new phase through her experiences and negotiating skills over the years which would be a benefit to the global economy, as countries recover to pre-COVID-19 levels.
He cited her work experiences as a Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister, Managing Director of Operations at the World Bank and her special envoy roles for sub-Saharan Africa for International Financial support and WHO COVID-19 support.
“We vouch for her preparedness to take up the challenges of a balanced, inclusive and effective WTO, good for the developed and developing world,” he said.
He concluded that the Nigerian private sector stakeholders recommend Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as new Head of the WTO to the other members and urges for their support during the election.