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Nigeria lobbies U.S., South Korea, others for Okonjo-Iweala


(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 15, 2020 Nigerian former Foreign and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends a press conference on July 15, 2020, in Geneva, following her hearing before World Trade Organization 164 member states’ representatives, as part of the application process to head the WTO as Director General. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, has said Nigeria is reaching out to the United States of America (USA) and South Korea to have Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala clinch the director-generalship of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The American government is obstructing the recommendation of Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance for the top global job.

Thanking others that have been backing the United Nations ex-official for the position, the minister said the Federal Government would lobby other nations to secure the needed consensus.


She assured the citizens of regular updates on the quest to making the Delta State native the first African and woman to head the global organisation.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Katagum, who also chairs the campaign strategy team for the mission, said everything legal and diplomatic would be deployed to seeing to the announcement of the Nigerian as next WTO chief executive at a Special General Council meeting holding on November 9.

She pointed out that the U.S. was holding back its support because it preferred the South Korean rival for the post.


She said: “Government wishes to inform that the third and final round of consultations for the selection of the WTO DG, which commenced in Geneva on October 19, 2020, was concluded on October 27, 2020.

“The chair of WTO General Council, Amb. David Walker of New Zealand, with the facilitators of the selection process, chair of the Dispute Settlement Body and chair of the Trade Policy Review Body (Troika), on October 28 at the meeting of WTO Heads of Delegation in Geneva, informed the WTO membership that the Nigerian candidate for the WTO DG, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, secured overwhelming support of members both in terms of number and geographical spread.

“She has therefore emerged as the candidate most likely to gain consensus as WTO DG.”


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