As it is the turn of Nigeria to take the helm of affairs of the intergovernmental organisation, Ambassador Isiaka Abdulqadir Imam assumes duty as Secretary-General of the D – 8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation today, based on the principle of rotation in alphabetic order.
This is in consonance with article 9.3 of the D – 8 Charter which stipulates that “the Secretary-General shall be appointed on recommendation by the Council of Ministers by consensus from among the nationals of the Member States and approval by the Summit for a non-renewable four-year term in accordance with the principle of rotation in alphabetic order with due consideration for competence, integrity, and experience. The Secretary-General will be of the rank of Ambassador in the diplomatic service of the Member State.”
Ambassador Imam hails from Ilorin, Kwara State. He joined the Nigeria Foreign Service in 1993 after acquiring B.A. (Hons) 2:1 Class (Political Science) in 1985 from an American University in Cairo, Egypt. He has served meritoriously in different capacities at Nigerian Missions in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Pretoria (South Africa), Tokyo (Japan), and Brasilia (Brazil) accordingly. He was conferred with the title of Ambassador in-situ by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020, who also approved his nomination as Secretary-General of D – 8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation in 2021.
The Developing Eight Organization for Economic Cooperation, founded in 1997, is an intergovernmental organization comprising the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the Republic of Turkey. The aspiration of the D-8 is to become an economic powerhouse that will promote sustainable development of Member States to become major actors in the global economic system.
The recent development is critical to Nigeria as the office of the Secretary-General of the D-8, during this tenure, will provide Nigeria with a veritable platform to achieve Mr. President’s economic diversification agenda through trade cooperation largely driven by the non-oil sector, and partnerships in other priority areas of comparative advantage.