Nigeria: Reps Endorse Okonjo-Iweala for WTO DG's Position

The House of Representatives on Tuesday endorsed former Nigeria's Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of the Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and called for her support by other African countries.

The lawmaker's endorsement of her candidature for the position was sequel to a Motion of Urgent Public Importance moved by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu during plenary.

Presenting the motion, Elumelu said that the chairman of the General Council of the World Trade organization (WTO) announced the commencement of the process to replace the outgoing Director General Roberto Azevedo, after which Nigeria endorsed the former minister's nomination for the post

He noted that the nominee, a two term minister of finance and a one time minister of foreign affairs said the Nigerian government endorsed her for the post because of her outstanding academic and professional background as well her long years of managerial experience at the top echelons of multilateral institutions, her reputation as a fearless reformer, excellence in negotiations and political skills", the lawmaker said.

He expressed concerned that Africa, aside the Nigerian candidate, has two other candidates from Egypt and Kenya and entering the race.

Noting that this could split votes for the nominees he expressed the urgent need to reach out to the governments of Egypt and Kenya on the need to step down their candidates for the Nigerian candidate.

Elumelu recalled that in 2015, Nigeria and Kenya established a joint commission for cooperation also recalled how Nigeria in the past strongly supported the candidature of late Boutros Boutros Ghali, an Egyptian national to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.

"This is a good time to implement the cooperation and reciprocate the past gesture by both nations respectively. Having a Nigerian as the Director General of the World Trade Organization will further enhance the image of the country amongst the comity of nations hence the need to massively support this bid.

Following the deliberation of the motion, the House unanimously endorsed the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the WTO position for 2021-2025.

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