Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Niyi Adebayo has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for nominating the new Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Nigeria’s candidate for the position. He said with her confirmation on Monday, President Buhari has been vindicated for his choice.
In an interview with a Lagos-based television station monitored by the Guild, the minister said: “First of all, we have to thank Mr. President for insisting that we nominate Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General (DG) of the WTO. As many of you may be aware, Nigeria had earlier nominated somebody else for that position. Mr. President decided he wanted Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position. He insisted we withdraw the previous nomination and nominate her to represent Nigeria. With the result we have obtained today, it is obvious that Mr. President was right. It is a thing of pride for us here in Nigeria, that a Nigeria, not only a Nigerian, but for the first time in the history of the WTO, that an African is occupying that position, and not only is it an African for the first time, it is also the first time a woman is occupying that position, and for that person to be a Nigeria, I believe is something of pride to all Nigerians.”
The minister also spoke on Nigeria taking up its rightful place in African trade. He said: “Nigeria’s place in African trade is not in doubt. As you are aware, we have signed and ratified the Africa free trade area agreement (AfCTA) which is already coming into play. We are a leading player in the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, so Nigeria’s position as a leading economic player in Africa is already in place. We will continue to work hard to see that we have an all encompassing trade policy.”