WTO: Buhari Holds Video Conference With European Council President, as Nigeria Lobbies Stakeholders for Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday held a video conference with the President of the European Council, Mr. Charles Michel, as the race for the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) hots up.

The Nigerian government had on Thursday restated its commitment to ensuring that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emerges as the Director-General of the WTO.

Nigeria’s expression of commitment to Okonjo-Iweala’s bid to head the global trade body came a day after the United States lone opposition stalled her declaration as the winner of the WTO race after securing the votes of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organisation.

US is backing Okonjo-Iweala’s sole opponent, Ms. Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement issued Friday said, Michel during the video conference with Buhari reiterated Europe’s support for Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of WTO.

The President is leading Nigeria’s charge for Okonjo-Iweala, the country’s former Minister of Finance, to emerge as the first Black and female WTO DG.

Buhari thanked the European Council for its support for Nigeria’s candidate.

The statement added, “Also discussed during the conference were issues bordering on debt relief for Africa, EU-African relations and recharge of the Lake Chad, which has currently shrunk to less than one-third of its usual size, and throwing about 130 million people who depend on the Lake into dire straits.”

“Recharge of the Lake Chad is an issue the Nigerian President had vigorously canvassed at diverse global fora in recent time”

Buhari expressed appreciation to Michel for expected positive developments on the issues.