Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Presidency on Friday quoted the President of the European Council, Mr Charles Michel, as reiterating Europe’s support for the bid of Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to become the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled “Okonjo-Iweala: President Buhari in video conference with President of European Council.”
Adesina said Michel gave the re-assurance during a video conference the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had with him.
According to the presidential spokesman, issues bordering on debt relief for Africa as well as the recharge of Lake Chad were also discussed.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari Friday held a video conference with Mr Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during which the latter reiterated Europe’s support for Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.
“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.
“President Buhari thanked the European Council for its support for Nigeria’s candidate.
“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.
“President Buhari expressed appreciation to Mr Michel for expected positive developments on the issues.”