By Victoria Ojeme
The Federal Government on Monday said that the selection of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was the right choice.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo in his speech delivered via zoom at the Special General Council Meeting of the organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, said the process of selection was not only transparent but the credit for the resulting success must go to the entire membership and to the TROIKA.
According to him, “Nigeria wishes to express profound gratitude and deep appreciation to all the members, who one way or the other, assisted Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during the campaign period. Thanks also go to all the regional groupings in the WTO for granting audience and support during and after the exercise.
“We also thank the WTO Secretariat staff, translators, and the press who worked really hard in supporting and providing updates to members and the general public on the DirectorGeneral selection process.”
The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, described Dr Okonjo-Iweala as one of the few on the global stage that enjoy high recognition in view of charismatic leadership qualities and proven records of excellence and integrity, along with international political connections.
He stressed, “We believe that the new Director-General will lead this organization to achieve its purpose and mandate.”
He assured that the new Director-General of WTO would not disappoint the organisation and all those who worked to make the appointment a reality, saying, “You will find her as a servant-leader who will always listen to you and work with you to achieve a common purpose.”
“She also assured that she would work hard, with the support of members, to uphold the image and integrity of the WTO as a multilateral institution that was established to serve members equally.
“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 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.