By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the federal government to make every move necessary to ensure Nigeria’s candidate for the position of Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, gets the exalted office.
In statement issued yesterday by the TUC’s President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye and Secretary General, Mr. Musa-Lawal Ozigi, the union said the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala would reaffirm to the world that Nigerians, nay Africans are great people, a feat the world can confirm by Nigerians’ exploits.
“Okonjo-Iweala needs no introduction both within and outside Nigeria. She spent a 25-year career at the World Bank as a Development Economist, rose to become the number two position of Managing Director, Operations (2007–2011) after which she served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003–2006, 2011–2015).
“The question now is not whether she is qualified or capable of handling the task. This contest is an aspect of international politics and we all must go all out to play it. Okonjo-Iweala is a renowned global finance expert, an economist and international development professional with decades of experience, having worked in about five continents. Her exposure is incontrovertible,” it said.
TUC said the world economy is on its knees due to the effect of the global pandemic otherwise called coronavirus, adding that “over 850,000 lives were lost; about 25 million people infected, over 400 million jobs and hundreds of millions of informal economy livelihoods lost all to the scourge”.
The union said that this is the time Nigeria needs Okonjo-Iweala who in time past has spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to assist low-income countries during the 2008-2009 food crises and later in the trying period of the global financial crisis to help navigate the storm.