President Muhammadu Buhari has assured former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria would spare no effort to ensure she emerges Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Buhari gave the assurance when he received Okonjo-Iweala at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
He said she deserved all Nigeria has to offer because she had also served the country diligently.
Okonjo-Iweala, who had previously served as the Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank, is one of two candidates contesting for the top position of the WTO.
“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,’’ Buhari affirmed.
The President assured he will make more phone calls and send letters to some world leaders for more support.
“I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
‘’You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,’’ Buhari told Dr Okonjo-Iweala.
Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked the President and his Ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.
“I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The Ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed,’’ she said.
The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning in particular the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
She asked the President to “make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thank others for their support.
“Mr President, put a smile on my face. I am very proud of the country,” she said.