The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said Nigeria would have started producing its own refined petroleum products if Dangote Refinery had existed years ago.

She said this yesterday during her visit to the President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to her, the President and Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, should have been encouraged be encouraged in his efforts to build a refinery in the country.

The Presidency quoted Okonjo-Iweala as saying this during a press conference in a series of tweets.

Answering questions on Dangote Refinery, the largest single-train refinery in the world, she was quoted as saying, “I wish we had done it years ago. If we had done it years ago and encouraged Alhaji Dangote, who is doing a good thing, we’d be producing our own fuel today.”

She thanked the president for his support in her bid to become the DG of the World Trade Organisation.

“I felt I had to come to Nigeria first, to say thank you, to Mr President; to thank him for his nomination and his support, he signed so many letters, he talked to so many people.

“I want to say a special thank you to young people in Nigeria. They were on social media sending so many encouraging videos,” she added.

She explained that “within WTO principles there are provisions that exist to protect and support vulnerable countries”, adding that “Free trade has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, but it has also left some people behind.

“This is why we are very keen at the @WTO to support women entrepreneurs, and MSMEs, and all the marginalized and excluded.”