WTO: APC governors back Okonjo-Iweala

• say Buhari nominated the world best

Governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for nominating former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

A statement signed by the Kebbi State governor and Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum,  Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said the choice of the former Minister was appropriate considering her professional experience.

“In nominating our own Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President Buhari is not just presenting a Nigerian candidate but is presenting to the world one of its best, albeit from Nigeria, and one who is eminently qualified to lead the task of fixing the world trading system.

An economist, international development expert and a global public servant, Dr Okonjo-Iweala is one candidate that comes with all the experiences and expertise required to reposition the WTO.

Both President Buhari and Dr Okonjo-Iweala deserve commendation for giving the world the opportunity to correct the distortions in the world trading system.

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“It will be recalled that last year, President Buhari signed the African Free Trade Agreement which holds a lot of promise for Nigeria.

Getting it right at the World Trade Organisation shall hasten the goals of Africa in the global arena.

With Dr Okonjo-Iweala who is cut out for the job given her background, her achievements, her world view, who promotes the belief that a trading system can work for the benefit all, and truly that’s what the world needs, all nations and peoples committed to the promotion of equitable trading system should support her emergence as the Director-General of WTO.

“As someone who practised development economics at the World Bank, rising to the top and having served twice as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, where she struggled with budget sizes below what the country’s potential demands and served two Presidents, who but apart from being of same Party, are opposites.

She, however, was quite remarkable in serving both and providing the needed leadership for Nigeria’s economic policy. She sits on the board of the Global Alliance of Vaccines in Africa, which of recent was exposed to the fragility of the global trading system in securing and supporting countries which supplies support to COVID-19 response.

Her experience in these fields equips her with the creative and modern perspectives that are required in navigating the uncertainties that will come in the post-Covid-19 world.”

The PGF expressed the confidence that Dr Okonjo -Iweala would use her knowledge of the global economy to mitigate poverty, particularly in the least developed countries.

The statement further reads in part: “At the WTO, which I pray she would lead, she will be able to bring the world of knowledge, creativity and value addition to the least developed world while at the same time mobilising millions in poverty into the world trade system with over 100 million of them from Africa.

“She has the credentials to assure the more prosperous nations that they could be better off an institution that she leads while at the same time given confidence to the developing countries that their moment had arrived. That’s what is needed in the world: a win-win situation.

“I  don’t know what the interview process entails but certainly the abilities of an Amazon who can bring over 400 million Africans, seeking to escape poverty and eager to equitably participate in the world trade system may not be matched by others.

“Africa matters, not least because it remains the least developed continent but have a young and growing population that is willing to join the world.

Equally African countries and indeed many other developing countries have been responsible trading partners that give the opportunity to others. They also seek more opportunities from others, and occasionally the two worlds may seem to differ in their views but Dr Okonjo-Iweala is able to make the case for both. She is capable of energising the World Trade Organisation and give confidence to all countries of the world that we shall be more prosperous together.”


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