By Uche Amunike
Nigerian President, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, (rtd), has approved the appointment of Dr Adamu Abdulhamid as Nigeria’s new Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland for a period of four years.
The office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari made this known in a letter to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo.
Adebayo, in a statement titled ‘PMB Appoints New Nigerian Ambassador to WTO, by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo urged the new Ambassador to cooperate with the Director General of WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and other members of the international organization to boost Nigeria’s trade.
Until his call to serve, Abdulahmid was the Acting Head/Charge d’ Affairs of Nigeria Trade office to the World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
He was also a substantial Deputy Director in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment who took over from Mr Suleiman Adebayo who returned to Nigeria from Geneva in 2019 after spending 15 years.
He hails from Kano state and has acquired 28 years of working experience in World Trade matters and Trade Negotiation and was the Campaign Coordinator of Okonji Iweala in Geneva Switzerland when she was vying for the position of the DG of WTO.
The new Ambassador is a holder of M.Sc. Economics and International Development, Masters in Business Management and Leadership, Doctorate of International Relations and Economic Diplomacy from the Commonwealth University, United kingdom.
Recall that Okonjo-Iweala recently-announced also four Director Generals.
There are Angela Ellard of the United States of America, Annabel González of Costa Rica, Ambassador Jean Marie Paugam of France and Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang of China.
According to her, it was the first time in history that half of the DGs are women. A development, she said, proved her commitment to strengthening the World Trade organization with talented leaders while achieving gender balance in senior positions.
Recall also that she became World Trade Organization DG after a keenly contested race and became the first woman and first African to lead the organization. She is 67 and served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister.
The profile of Angela Ellard shows she negotiated and delivered bipartisan trade policy outcomes and legislation with members of U.S. Congress and senior Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administration officials.
Anabel González served as Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica; as Director-General for International Trade Negotiations; as Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), among others’.
Jean-Marie Paugam held senior management positions in the French Government on trade, most recently as Permanent Representative of France to the WTO.
Xiangchen Zhang is the current Vice Minister in the Ministry of Commerce of China. He was China’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and previously as Deputy Permanent Representative.
The new envoy, Dr Adamu Abdulahmid has twenty eight years of working experience on World Trade matters and Trade Negotiations.