The World Trade Organisation (WTO), on Tuesday, named Nigeria’s candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, among the three candidates whose nominations have so far been accepted to vie for the organidation’s Director-General position.
The WTO’s General Council Chair, David Walker of New Zealand, who announced the shortlist of three candidates, said Mrs Okonjo-Iweala would be squaring up against the Mexican representative, Jesús Seade Kuri, and Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh of Egypt.
The announcement of the former World Bank Managing Director and two-time Nigerian minister by the organisation is coming against a stiff opposition.
Remember last week Thursday, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to replace the current Deputy Director General of WTO, Yonov Frederick Agah, as Nigeria’s nominee caused a stir.
However, there was a resentment Shortly after her nomination from the Egyptian government who wrote to the African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa to demand that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala be disqualified, as she was coming into the race after three candidates had already been shortlisted.
The three candidates included Eloi Laourou of the Republic of Benin, Abdulhameed Mamdouh of the Arab Republic of Egypt Arab Republic, and Mr Agah of Nigeria.
With the withdrawal of Mr Agah’s candidature, the Egyptian government said it was requesting the Ministerial Committee on Candidatures to officially inform the African Group in Geneva about the development and Nigeria’s disqualification.
Mr Walker said the release of the three-member candidates’ shortlist was in line with the procedures for appointing the WTO Director-General as described in document WT/L/509.
The appointment process for the next Director-General of WTO would formally commence on June 8 with nominations accepted till July 8.
After July 8, Mr Walker said he would issue to members a consolidated list of all the candidates, while candidates would be invited to meet with members at a special General Council meeting shortly after the nomination period has closed.
During the meeting, the candidates would be allowed to present their views and take questions from members. (Premiumtimesng)