Nigeria: Govt Lauds Okonjo-Iweala's Appointment As WTO DG

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (file photo).
15 February 2021

The federal government Monday described the emergence of former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the right choice that will benefit the organisation in years to come.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, said the process leading to her selection had been transparent, adding that the credit for the resulting success must go to the entire WTO membership and to the TROIKA.

The minister, in a speech delivered via zoom at the Special General Council meeting of the organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, expressed Nigeria's profound gratitude and deep appreciation to all the members, who in one way or the other, assisted Okonjo-Iweala during the campaign period.

Adebayo also thanked the regional groupings in the organisation for granting audience and support during and after the exercise.

He stated that the new DG will not disappoint the organisation and all those who worked to make the appointment a reality.

He told the virtual audience: "You will find her as a servant-leader who will always listen to you and work with you to achieve a common purpose.

"As a reformer, she has undertaken to work with members on the WTO reform agenda, including the urgent need to address the impasse of the appellate in the dispute settlement body in order for the WTO to be more focused, achievement oriented and acceptable to all members.

"New initiatives with the support of members will be introduced to source for more funds from other multilateral financial institutions in order to assist members in building their capacity to fully comply with their obligations and new trade initiatives in the WTO."

Adebayo further appealed to members to give the new DG all the cooperation, support and solidarity that would be required for her to work with a view to making the apex trade organisation a truly outstanding multilateral institution.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, the minister, however, described Okonjo-Iweala as one of the few on the global stage that enjoys high recognition in view of her charismatic leadership qualities and proven records of excellence and integrity, along with international political connections.

"We believe that the new Director-General will lead this organisation to achieve its purpose and mandate," he said.

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