Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for nominating and supporting her candidacy for Director General of the World Trade Organisation( WTO) position.
“I want to also thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the Chief of Staff to the President Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu and the Nigerian ambassadors to Switzerland, WTO as well as the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva.”
WTO’s outgoing Director General Mr Roberto Azevêdo would retire in August after serving two terms of seven years
Iweala, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Geneva, also thanked ECOWAS for endorsing her candidacy as the race for the WTO Director General position enters the selection phase.
She is vying for the top job alongside candidates from Kenya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. UK, Moldova, Mexico and the Republic of Korea.
All the candidates are in Geneva to make presentations to the WTO General Council and addressed the press from July 15 – 17.
The former finance minister who had previously urged the WTO to elect its Director General based on merit, told NAN that given her resumè as a development economist she was best suited for the job.
“People ask me often what best qualifies you for the job- I think the WTO needs leadership, it cannot continue to do what it did before. If it’s to stay as one of the premier institutions of the 21st century , it needs strong leadership which is a quality I have.
“It needs knowledge of trade which I have for being a development economist which my entire career is built around. It needs someone with political skills and international connections that can reach policy makers in all countries- and I have that owing my 35 years of experience