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Buhari commends US support for Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO-DG race

By Idowu Abdullahi,

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the United States for supporting Nigerian former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, ahead her emergence as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

He explained that the President Joe Biden-led administration’s recourse to throw its weight behind the former minister’s ambition as against former President Donald Trump opposition against her candidature was encouraging.

Buhari said that the needed support from the United States at the critical time signified the country’s interest in Nigeria, the black race and the entire African continent.

Through a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president said that the pronouncement of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, signifying withdrawal of the country’s objection to the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as WTO-DG remains a welcome development to Nigeria.

He added that the support meant that Nigeria would be producing the first female and African leader of the global organisation, saying the country under his administration would continue taking decisions that would strengthen ties with the US.

“We certainly welcome the decision of the new U.S administration to remove the last obstacle in the path of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala to becoming the first female and the first person of African descent to lead the organization,” said the President.

“Nigeria and the entire African continent are happy about this new U.S position, which signifies a shift and an important turnaround in the relations between our continent and the United States under the Biden administration.”

“Today, we see that the United States stands with Nigeria and Africa with the acceptance of our widely respected citizen, Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO. We look forward to working very closely with the new U.S administration on this and all issues of common interests, especially in such areas as accelerated economic growth, fight against terrorism and deepening progress on development issues,’’ the statement said.

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