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OPINION: The Amazing Story Of Okonjo-Iwealla, The Next DG of  WTO, by Kola AMZAT


Some weeks ago, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, a very distinguished Nigerian by all standards and a former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture was confirmed for second tenure of office as President, African Development Bank.

It was a battle won from the pit of hell, as the all powerful American, insisted that Adesina would not receive their nod. They accused him of financial infractions and some undefined recklessness while in office.

Confronted with this challenge, Nigerian government swung into diplomatic actions, traversing all notable countries, in a bid to reach out to the friends of Americans. Eventually, the Americans saw reasons; they soft pedaled.

They allowed Dr. Adesina to be. So, also will it be on Nov 09, when final decision will be taking for the Nigerian & African super star, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealla, who has succeeded in rebranding Nigeria brand at the global stage.

On behalf of the African continent, she personally destroyed the plague of inferiority complex that has dogged the path of the continent for ages.

Through her brilliant and commanding performance, she eloquently announced to the global world that, even though, the continent could have been ravaged by economic and political turmoil, as well as other plagues, still, the best is yet to come from African.

All the continents under the surface of the earth presented their best candidates; Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealla dusted them all. From the initial list of eight (8) candidates shortlisted, she emerged one of the best two (2) for the final race, alongside South Korea candidate, Yoo Myung-hee, who she comprehensively dusted in the final race, securing overwhelming votes of 104 from the total of 164 member countries. Now, the only country on her way to assumption of office as DG of World Trade Organization is the American.

Their submission in countering her appointment is that, her experience in global trade activities is inadequate for the top office.

But, we it’s incumbent on us to announce to the Americans that, the Nigerian candidate was a two-time Finance Minister of Nigeria, during Chief Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan regimes.

Indeed, she doubled as co-coordinating Minister of Economy under the latter regime, a wider portfolio that included Trade, Industries, Investments, Aviation, and Commerce. Nigerian as strategic nation in Africa and the entire world has all notable countries across the globe as her trading partners.

As coordinating Minister of Economy during Jonathan regime, Okonjo-Iwealla office remained the only clearing house for all Nigerian trading activities around the globe. Indeed, she was in charge in the office for about six (6) years Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was at the helms of affairs in Nigeria.

The Nigerian candidate had also previously worked for World Bank variously as Development Economist and eventually rose to the exalted position of Managing Director (Operations) in the Bank, scaling ranks to achieve this feat. Part of her beat while in that office also included huge trading activities across the globe.  Okonjo Iwealla sits on the Board of Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization and the African Risk Capacity. One way or the other, these global corporate business enterprises get involved in massive trade activities, which as a matter of must, Okonjo Iwealla must be one of the few active Directors to sign off.

My humble submissions above sufficiently revealed that, the Americans have other reasons why they are opposing Okonjo Iwealla mounting the saddle as the next DG of World Trade Organization other than the puerile and highly unjustifiable reasons adduced. As the self-appointed policemen of the world, it’s possible they are indirectly expressing their indignation concerning the political development, as well as wide-scale corruption in Nigeria. It’s also possible that, they might be thinking that they recently supported Nigeria to clinch second term bid of another strategic Institution-AFDB and therefore, be asking themselves that, is it only Nigeria. But, Nigerian is a sovereign nation and the Americans must come to terms with this reality. For crying aloud, they don’t have to run our country for us. They must allow Nigeria to grow and make mistakes and eventually grow her democracy.

I’m also of strong opinion that, they can’t stop the ascendancy of Nigerian candidate to that exalted office. Okonjo has already emerged. The whole world has seen a fantastic, focus, resourceful, cerebral, highly experienced and shrewd candidate, with amazing capacity to rebuild & refocus the global trading activities and more importantly, to properly integrate African and other developing economies into the main stream of the global trade.  It would be difficult for the Americans to reverse the world resolution.   

Finally, I implore Nigerian government to replicate the diplomatic shuttles they adopted for the emergence of Dr. Aknwunmi Adesina for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealla for the purpose of her emergence as WTO boss.


Kola AMZAT(FCA,FCIB,ACS,MBA, Lagos Based Financial Consultant, 09077509348 or 09077509348.



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