Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Okonjo-Iweala to Buhari: Without your personal and direct intervention I wouldn’t have been elected WTO DG

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Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, WTO, has revealed the role President Muhammadu Buhari played in her election as WTO boss.

She stated this during a visit to the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.

The new WTO DG thanked Mr Buhari for the pulsating support she received from her own country in the race for the position.

“You nominated me, you wrote hundreds of letters, called up hundreds of world leaders. Without your personal and direct intervention, it may not have worked. The people of Nigeria also supported me massively. The youths were wonderful, always encouraging, backing me up on social media.

“Mr President, the world recognizes what you have done. Since its establishment, only men have led the WTO. Now, a woman has emerged for the first time, and she’s a Nigerian. We are so honoured,” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said.

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She apprised the president of the opportunities for Nigeria in the global organization, as well as the challenges, stressing that “WTO will do more to help Nigeria, but we need to add value to our products in order to trade more. We should exploit all the opportunities in front of us.”

She added that the support and leadership of Mr Buhari will help her a lot in her position as DG.

In his remark, Mr Buhari told Mrs Onjo-Iweala that despite the robust support Nigeria gave to her candidacy for the position, “You also earned it. We are happy you made it, but you earned it with your record of performance both at home and abroad.”

The President said Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was putting Nigeria more on the world map, “and I congratulate you, as well as the country. I know you will represent us so well.”

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President Buhari lauded Nigerian women once again, pointing to key positions they hold like Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, and many others. He said the same way, government would encourage the youths, “so that they can be ready for the challenges of the future.”

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The new WTO DG thanked President Buhari for the pulsating support she received from her own country in the race for the position.

“You nominated me, you wrote hundreds of letters, called up hundreds of world leaders. Without your personal and direct intervention, it may not have worked. The people of Nigeria also supported me massively. The youths were wonderful, always encouraging, backing me up on social media.

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“Mr President, the world recognizes what you have done. Since its establishment, only men have led the WTO. Now, a woman has emerged for the first time, and she’s a Nigerian. We are so honoured,” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said.

She apprised the president of the opportunities for Nigeria in the global organization, as well as the challenges, stressing that “WTO will do more to help Nigeria, but we need to add value to our products in order to trade more. We should exploit all the opportunities in front of us.”

She added that the support and leadership of President Buhari will help her a lot in her position as DG.

Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala assumed office on March 1, 2021, as the first female DG of the World Trade Organization

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