The House of Representatives has endorsed the candidacy of the Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General of World Trade Organisation, WTO.
The motion to back the ex-Managing Director of the World Bank, was sponsored by Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi ELumelu from Delta State.
Leading the debate ELumelu stated that a distinguished Nigerian, two term minister of finance, one time minister of foreign affairs and former managing director of the world bank Dr Ngozi Okonjo-lweala has been formally nominated by the federal republic of Nigeria to vie for the exalted position of the Director General of the WTO for the period of 2021-2025 and if successful will be the first female and first African to have occupied the office.
He pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari who had put into consideration her outstanding academic and professional background, as well as, her long years of managerial experience at the top echelons of multilateral institutions, endorsed her as the nations candidate for the WTO job.
According to the minority leader, with the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic at hand, the WTO has a vital role to play in hunting for trade solutions and building trust amongst member states, hence the need for a capable hand that can make the WTO fit to thrive for the 21st century.
Elumelu added that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-lweolo has the requisite capacity and experience to handle the challenges of WTO at this critical moment.
The lawmaker who expressed concern that asides Dr.Ngozi Okonjo-lweala, Africa has two other candidates from Egypt and Kenya said entering the race with three candidates from Africa will split Africa’s votes.
He therefore urged the House, to urgently reach out to the governments of Egypt and Kenya on the need to rally round a single candidate for the continent in the person of Dr. Okonjo-lweala.
The House thereafter resolved to unanimously endorse the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organization for the period of 2021-2025, and also commend ECOWAS Authority of heads of states and governments for their strong endorsement while urging President Buhari to further rally other African leaders to support her bid as the Director General of WTO.
The House also called on the Pan African parliament to follow suit, as it also urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to interface with the governments of Egypt and Kenya to step down their candidates in the spirit of African oneness and reciprocity.