Reps endorse Okonjo-Iweala for WTO top job

Reps endorse Okonjo-Iweala for WTO top job
July 14
16:29 2020

The house of representatives has endorsed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former coordinating minister of the economy, for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

At Tuesday’s plenary session, the lower legislative chamber also called on other African candidates — from Kenya and Egypt — to step down for Okonjo-Iweala.

President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated the former minister for the WTO top job. She is up against  seven other candidates.

While considering a motion by Ndudi Elumelu, minority leader, the federal lawmakers said it will be commendable for Okonjo-Iweala to be the first female and first African to lead the WTO.


They described Okonjo-Iweala as a “fearless reformer and excellent negotiator” whose “outstanding academic and professional background” makes her to stand out as a choice candidate.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic at hand and many countries faced with difficult choices and critical moments, the WTO has a vital role to play in hunting for trade solutions and building trust amongst member states, hence the need for a capable hand that can make it fit to thrive tor the 21st century,” the lawmakers said.

“It is the perfect time for Africa to assume leadership at the WTO and all concerned stakeholders, must unanimously commit to achieving this.”


The house, however, noted that with three candidates from Africa, the continent’s votes will be split “which cripples the prospect of an African assuming the WTO position.”

They asked the federal government to “urgently reach out to the governments of Egypt and Kenya on the need to rally round a single candidate for the continent in the person of Dr. Okonjo-lweala”.

“In the past, Nigeria has staunchly supported the candidatures of other Africans to leadership position at multilateral organisations, including the candidacy of Late Boutros Boutros Ghali an Egyptian national to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” the green chamber said.

“A good turn deserves another and we must now unite the African continent and ensure cooperation amongst our countries to put the continent first.”


1 Comment

  1. Chuks
    Chuks July 15, 08:48

    This is a good gesture for the African continent.

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