The newly elected Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday expressed her appreciation to Nigerian youths, disclosing that they posted many encouraging videos on social media to support her bid for the WTO top job.
Dr Okonjo-, who was also a former Minister of Finance during the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency, said this during a ‘Thank You’ visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.
In a series of tweets by the Presidency, the WTO DG was also quoted to have said that Alhaji Aliko Dangote, should be supported in his efforts at building a petroleum refinery in the country.
Among the issues, Okonjo-Iweala reportedly discussed with the president during the meeting, include improving Nigeria’s share of global trade, developing Nigeria’s services sector, Covid-19, attracting investment, safe schools, training, and capacity building.
While answering questions on Dangote Refinery— the largest single-train refinery in the world, she was quoted as saying, “I wish we had done it years ago. If we had done it years ago and encouraged Alhaji Dangote, who is doing a good thing, we’d be producing our own fuel today.”
She thanked the president for his support in her bid to become the DG of the World Trade Organisation.
“I felt I had to come to Nigeria first, to say thank you, to Mr President; to thank him for his nomination and his support, he signed so many letters, he talked to so many people.
“I want to say a special thank you to young people in Nigeria. They were on social media sending so many encouraging videos,” she added.
She explained that “within WTO principles there are provisions that exist to protect and support vulnerable countries”, adding that “Free trade has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, but it has also left some people behind.
“This is why we are very keen at the @WTO to support women entrepreneurs, and MSMEs, and all the marginalized and excluded.”