By Tanko Mohammed
Nigeria has inaugurated a Campaign Strategy Team for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is vying for the post of the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, while inaugurating the team in Abuja, said it was key to the success in ensuring that the Nigerian candidate emerged as WTO Director-General for 2021 – 2025 term.
Adebayo, in a statement by Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, Assistant Director, Press Unit of the ministry, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to nominate Okonjo–Iweala as Nigeria’s candidate for the position of WTO Director-General was in good faith.
He said the decision was given the overriding consideration of the need to host Africa’s chance and for the promotion of gender mainstreaming at the world’s top trade post.
He expressed optimism that the Nigerian candidate would emerge as the next Director-General of WTO, based on her capabilities and wealth of experience at the highest level of World Bank, as a Development Economist, Diplomat and one of the Africa’s most trusted technocrats.
“An eminently qualified candidate in the position of Okonjo-Iweala with proven leadership, bold reformer, skillful negotiator with abilities to broker numerous agreements that would promote fair trade should be selected for Director-General of the WTO.
“I am confident that she possesses the qualities to lead the most important global multilateral body,” the minister said.
He, therefore, charged the team to develop winning strategy for the candidate and also called on stakeholders, media, public, private and trading partners to give necessary support that she required to emerge as WTO Director-General.
The Minister of State, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, who is the Team Leader of the Campaign Strategy team, pledged the full commitment of members of the team to deliver on its mandate.
“We must all get to work as a team in the most strategic and professional manner to deliver on this important assignment in line with the Terms of Reference,” she stated.
Katagum also expressed confidence that Okonjo–Iweala would emerge as the next WTO Director-General considering her pedigree and commitment in ensuring sustainable development and economic growth, not only for Africa but the world at large.
The Campaign Strategy team comprises officials of the ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; representatives of the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The team also include officials from the Ministry of Finance, Nigerian Ambassador to ECOWAS and African Union as well as Geneva–based officials.