WTO DG: Okonjo Iweala Says Nigeria’s Support Crucial To Success

Two- time former Nigerian finance minister, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala,  has attributed her success in the keenly contested vacancy at the World Trade Organisation on the role played by Nigeria.

Okonjo- Iweala was shortlisted for the final stage of the position of the Director-General of the WTO, alongside South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

“Happy to be in the final round of the @wto DG campaign. Thanks, WTO members for your continued support of my candidacy. I could not have made it without the prayers and support of all Nigerians and friends around the world. Thank you @MBuhari and all my friends. Aluta continua!” Okonjo- Iweala said in a tweet on Thursday following her selection.

The Nigerian who is the current chair, board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance  believes the WTO reform will be tough.

“But I have delivered hard reform before, including reform of countries’ trade regimes. In addition to this, I am the only candidate working at the intersection of trade and public health,” she said in a separate tweet.

Backed by the Nigerian government, Africa and Europe, if she scales through to replace Roberto Azevedo who was former DG of the Organization, Okonjo-Iweala will become the first female DG at the Switzerland based organisation.

“Only a DG with the requisite political and negotiating skills coupled with multilateral experience can ensure deep engagement of the Members in order to restore trust and build a truly efficient organisation

“Dr Iweala’s qualities and experience in managing multilateral issues, in trade facilitation and negotiation as well as brokering deals and agreements with high political stakes, put her in good standing,” said Nigerian Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum.

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