SWITZERLAND, JULY 17 – The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, yesterday inaugurated a campaign strategy team for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is vying for the post of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The minister said the team, which is led by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Katagum, remained key to ensuring that the Nigerian candidate emerges victorious in her quest for the WTO top shot.
He said the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate the former minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy as Nigeria’s candidate for the position was taken in good faith, 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.
Adebayo also expressed optimism that the Nigerian candidate would emerge as the next WTO boss, based on her capabilities and wealth of experience at the highest level of the World Bank as a development economist, diplomat and one of Africa’s most trusted technocrats.
He said: “An eminently qualified candidate in the position of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala with proven leadership, bold reformer, skillful negotiator with abilities to broker numerous agreements that would promote fair trade should be selected for the position of the Director-General of the WTO; I am confident that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala possesses the qualities to lead the most important global multilateral body.”
The minister tasked the team to develop a winning strategy for the candidate and also called on stakeholders, media, public, private and trading partners to support Okonjo-Iweala to emerge as the WTO boss.
In a statement issued by Assistant Director, Information, FMITI, Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, the minister expressed hope that the team will intensify its level of dedication over time to ensure success.
Katagum assured Nigerians of the full commitment of members of the team to deliver on its mandate.
She said: “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 also expressed confidence that Nigeria’s candidate would emerge as the next global apex trade organisation boss considering her pedigree and commitment to ensuring sustainable development and economic growth not only for Africa but the world at large.
The campaign strategy team comprised officials of the ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the Office of the Chief of Staff to the president, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigerian Ambassador to ECOWAS and African Union as well as Geneva-based officials.