FG: We’ll Ensure Okonjo-Iweala Emerges WTO DG

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • Says Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders

By Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Nigerian government on Thursday restated its commitment to ensuring that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emerges as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

The Nigerian government’s expression of commitment to Okonjo-Iweala’s bid to head the global trade body is coming a day after the United States lone opposition stalled her declaration as the winner of the WTO race after securing the votes of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organisation.

US is backing Okonjo-Iweala’s sole opponent,  Ms. Yoo Myung-hee of South Korea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a  statement, titled, ‘Update on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s aspiration to lead the World Trade Organisation’, and signed by its spokesperson Ferdinand Nwonye, assured that Nigeria would continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of its candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation was realised.

It stated that a meeting of the General Council of the WTO had been scheduled for November 9, 2020, for the final decision on the election process.

The statement read: ”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization was concluded on Tuesday, 27th October 2020, and the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October 2020. The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

”This is because apart from winning the election, all the 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO. It is important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.”