The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and appreciated the ministry and Nigerians in general for their support.
The newly appointed WTO DG who was received by delegates led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama lauded the Minister for his role in contributing to her success in her race for the WTO DG seat.
“You worked night and day along with the Ministry of Trade and Investment and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. You worked personally to make sure that this happens. I remember calling you so many nights with one complaint or the other or one demand or the other and you kept your cool and were always trying to sort it all out.
“In short, you were absolutely amazing and I want to thank you for your personal attention to this,” she said.
Okonjo-Iweala also appreciated young Nigerians who she said were always on social media cheering her on. According to her, this was a crucial encouragement in the ‘tough race’.
“I say it and I will not stop saying it – without all of you and without support from ordinary Nigerians, especially the young people who were always on social media all the time encouraging me, I wouldn’t have been able to make it because it was a very tough competition with eight of us at the start, over a period of six months – very grueling – so it needed a lot of encouragement.
“It’s a proud thing that Nigeria has been able to make it. I am honoured and humbled to have been selected,” Okonjo-Iweala said in her appreciation message.
Okonjo-Iweala’s visit to Nigeria comes about a month after she was confirmed as the Director-General of the global trade organisation.
As the first woman and first African to lead the international body, her term began on March 1 and would last until the next four years.
Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was nominated as Nigeria’s candidate to lead the WTO by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2020.
She is a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert who has a 25-year career at the World Bank, scaling the ranks to the second top position of Managing Director, Operations