President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday assured former Minister of Finance and Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that he would do all within his power to ensure that she became the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).
According to a statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the promise while receiving Okonjo-Iweala at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The statement was titled “We’ll push, push until you win, President Buhari assures Okonjo-Iweala.”
The former minister and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-Hee are the two remaining candidates contesting for the top position of the multilateral institution.
According to the statement, Buhari told the former minister that she deserves 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,” the President was quoted as saying.
He was also said to have assured Okonjo-Iweala that he would 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. You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,” the President said.
Shehu also quoted Okonjo-Iweala as thanking the President and his ministers, particularly the ministers of Foreign Affairs, and 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 was quoted as saying.
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.