President Muhammadu Buhari has assured former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the Federal Government will do all within its power to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the country will push until she wins.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari made the promise while receiving Okonjo-Iweala at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, October 12, 2020.
Nigeria’s candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the South Korean candidate, Yoo Myung-Hee, are the 2 remaining candidates, who have been shortlisted for the third and final round in the selection process that will choose who will lead the trade organization.
Whoever emerges from the 2 candidates, will become the first female to lead the 25-year-old organization.
In the statement titled “We’ll push, push until you win, President Buhari assures Okonjo-Iweala,” Buhari told the Okonjo-Iweala that she deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country and the world.
The President 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 assured Okonjo-Iweala that he would make more phone calls and send letters to some world leaders for more support.
He 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. You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls.”
In her response, Okonjo-Iweala thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister 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.’’
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 thanked others for their support.
She said she is proud of her country with the president putting a smile on her face.