President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerian Former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala of his support for her position now being sought as the Director of the World Trade Organization.
This was made known in a statement signed by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and publicity when the former minister who was accompanied by the minister of Trade and investment Niyi Otunba paid a visit to the president at the presidential villa in Abuja.
The statement reads;
WE’LL PUSH, PUSH UNTIL YOU WIN, PRESIDENT BUHARI ASSURES OKONOJO-IWEALA
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured 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).
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.
“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.
The President assured Dr. Okonjo-Iweala that he 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.
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.
“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.
The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning, in particular, the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of the 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.’’
“Mr. President put a smile on my face,’’ she said, “I am very proud of the country.’’
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
October 12, 2020