Less than 24-hours after the United States rejected Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s candidature for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) top job, the Nigerian government has said it will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure she emerges the Director General of the WTO.
The country’s ministry of foreign affairs in a statement Thursday said the government will ensure the lofty aspirations of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realised.
Despite securing the vote of 163 of the 164 members of the trade organisation, Nigeria’s former finance minister could not be declared the head of the WTO on Wednesday as the US objected the Nigerian candidate citing lack of experience and procedural issues for its stance.
But Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, on Thursday, said Nigeria will continue to consult with stakeholders ahead of the WTO’s November 9 general council meeting.
“The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to inform that the third and final round of the selection process of thc director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was concluded On Tuesday, 27th October, 2020 and the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October, 2020,” the statement read.
“The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.
“This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 member states of WIO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus; in accordance with the rule of procedure ofthe WTO.
“It is important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-lweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.
“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realised.”
Okonjo-Iweala while commenting on the development was quick to observe that she will maintain a positive attitude despite the hiccups.
She took to twitter and said “happy for the success and continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members and most likely to attract consensus.”
She added; “we move on to the next step on November 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!”
By Abel Ejikeme