WTO job: Buhari, Atiku congratulate Okonjo-Iweala

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President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar have hailed Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on emerging the first female and African Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, President Buhari said that Okonjo-Iweala brought “joy and more honour to the country”.

“As the Harvard-educated and renowned economist takes up another onerous task of service to the world and humanity, the President believes her track record of integrity, diligence and passion for development will continue to yield positive results and rewards to mankind.

“President Buhari affirms that Dr Okonjo-Iweala, who over the years set major records of economic reforms in Nigeria as Minister of Finance, and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, will excel in her new position and validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the multilateral institution for the greater good of all.

“The President joins family, friends and colleagues in wishing Dr Okonjo-Iweala well in her new endeavour.”

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In a statement he personally signed, Atiku said Okonjo-Iweala was well known to him and “not hyperbole” when he said that no one could be more qualified for the job of D-G of WTO than her.

He described her as an apostle of free trade and astute manager of people and resources, adding that the world would be much more prosperous with her recent elevation.

“As the world prepares to emerge from the global pandemic of COVID19, the planet needs a steady hand at the wheel, to drive global trade, and rebuild from the devastation wrought by the virus.

“We would not need someone who thinks they can pull this off. We would need someone who has actually and serially pulled it off before. And that person has emerged,” he said.

Abubakar said that Africa and Nigeria were proud of Okonjo-Iweala.

He said his family was full of joy at her victory, saying “go to Geneva and make us proud, as we know you will.”

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