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WTO: Buhari congratulates Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala



President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her election as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

By the victory, Buhari said Okonjo-Iweala has brought joy and more honour to the country.

The president’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, as the Harvard-educated and renowned economist takes up another onerous task of service to the world and humanity.

“Her track record of integrity, diligence and passion for development will continue to yield positive results and rewards to mankind,” the President said.

Buhari affirmed that Okonjo-Iweala, who over the years set major records of economic reforms in Nigeria as Minister of Finance, and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, would excel in her new position.

He expressed the hope that the former Nigerian minister would validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the multilateral institution for the greater good of all.

The president joined family, friends and colleagues in wishing Okonjo-Iweala well in her new endeavour.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okonjo-Iweala’s election follows months of deadlocked discussions among WTO members on who should be chosen as the next director-general.

The former WTO chief, Roberto Azevedo, stepped down in August, a year earlier than his second four-year term was set to end.

The delays in the appointment of WTO chief reportedly stemmed from the reluctance of former U.S. president, Donald Trump, to approve the Nigerian economist’s candidacy.

The Trump administration favoured South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee.

However, after Joe Biden assumed the presidency, the South Korean minister decided to quit the race paving the way for Okonjo-Iweala’s selection.

Ismaila Chafe

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