Former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has expressed her excitement over the backing she got from the United States to lead World Trade Organisation.
Okonjo-Iweala made this known via her Twitter handle on Friday night.
She also commended the President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for their support.
“Grateful for the expression of support from the US today for DG @WTO. Congratulations to Madam Yoo of Rep. Korea for a hard-fought campaign.
“Thank you, President Muhammadu Buhari @MBuhari and all Nigerians for your unflinching support. Thank you, friends. Love to my family. Glory to God,” she tweeted.
President Joe Biden’s administration had on Friday offered its “strong support” to Okonjo-Iweala to lead WTO, clearing a path for her to become the trade body’s first female and first African leader.
The move marks another sharp split with former president Donald Trump, who paralysed the organisation and opposed the candidacy of the former Nigerian finance minister who was backed by many other countries.
The US Trade Representative (USTR) in a statement earlier on Friday cited Okonjo-Iweala’s “wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy” and said she had “proven experience managing a large international organisation.”
The process to name a successor for Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down last August, has been deadlocked for months.
Key WTO ambassadors tipped Okonjo-Iweala in October 2020,as the best pick to lead the organisation, but without US support the process was left at a standstill since the director-general is normally chosen by consensus among all 164-member countries.
Nigeria’s first woman finance minister trained as a development economist.She has degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.
Okonjo-Iweala,66, spent a quarter of a century at the World Bank, rising to become the managing director.