WTO Top Job: Nigeria Drums Support For Okonjo-Iweala


The election process for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General position began, yesterday, in Geneva, with Nigeria appealing for global support for its candidate, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s two-time Minister of Finance and an economist is vying for the job alongside candidates from Egypt, Mexico, Moldova, UK, Saudia Arabia, Kenya, and South Korea.

Speaking at a reception held in Geneva to canvass support for Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Adebayo Adeniyi, described the Ex-Nigerian Minister as “a global icon with proven leadership skills that the WTO required”.

Adeniyi was represented by Mr Abdulhamid Adamu, Chargé d’Affaires of the Nigerian Trade Office.

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He listed some of her achievements as spearheading negotiations and reforms that enhanced transparency of government accounts and strengthening institutions against corruption, among others.

BREAKINGTIMES reports that in the first phase of the election process, Chair of the WTO’s General Council, Amb. David Walker and his colleagues from the Dispute Settlement Body, Mr Dacio Castillo as well as that of the Trade Policy Review Body, Mr Harald Aspelund will commence consultations with all WTO members.

The consultation is understood to be geared toward assessing their preferences to determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.

Three candidates will be dropped at the end of the first phase of consultation, thereby paving the way for five candidates to move to the next level.

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