Yesterday, the World Trade Organization ( WTO) ignored protests from Egypt to accept the appointment of Nigeria ‘s former Finance Minister and former World Bank Managing Director (Operations), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as its Director-General.
Following her impressive resume Okonjo-Iweala is a favorite for the job.
Yesterday, in a three-paragraph statement on its website, the Geneva-based global trading body said: “Nigeria nominates Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as WTO Director-General.
“Nigeria, on 9 June 2020, nominated Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed the current Director-General, Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced he will step down on 31 August 2020.
“According to the timetable announced by the Chair of the General Council, David Walker, the nomination period will close on 8 July 2020.
“Shortly after the nomination period has closed, candidates will be invited to meet with members at a special General Council meeting, present their views and take questions from the membership.”
On same day, WTO added that Egypt, which is opposed to Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination, has nominated Mr. Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh for the same position.
Egypt had opposed the nomination of Okonjo-Iweala on the ground that it was belated.
The North African country told members of the African Union that her nomination should not be recognised.
In a letter to the African Union (AU) member-states, Egypt had contended that her nomination was out of time and therefore breached the rules of nomination, which import they said, was that Nigeria no longer had a candidate for the position.
It said AU member-states had been required to nominate candidates for the director general position by November 30, 2019, over five months ago, while the request to substitute Yonok Frederick Agah was made on June 4, 2020.