House of Reps endorses Okonjo-Iweala for WTO DG job

The House of Representatives has endorsed a former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The House endorsed Okonjo-Iweala at the plenary on Tuesday, following the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

Adopting the motion, the lawmakers resolved that “the House unanimously endorses the candidature of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organisation for the period of 2021-2025.”

The House also commended ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments for their strong endorsement, while urging the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to further rally other African leaders to support her bid as the DG of WTO.

While urging the pan African parliament to follow suit, the House urged the Nigerian government to interface with the governments of Egypt and Kenya “to step down their candidates in the spirit of African oneness and reciprocity.”

Moving the motion, Elumelu recalled that via the Marrakesh Agreement of 15th April, 1994, which was signed by 123 nations, the WTO came into existence, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

According to the Minority Leader, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, with many countries faced with difficult choices and critical moments, the WTO has a vital role to play in hunting for trade solutions and building trust amongst member states.

The lawmaker stressed the need for a capable hand that can make the WTO fit to thrive for the 21st century.

He said there was no gainsaying that Okonjo-lweolo had the requisite capacity and experience to handle the challenges of WTO ‘at this critical moment’.

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