House of Representatives has endorsed a former minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to clinch the post of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The lawmakers took the decision while adopting a motion to back the ex-managing director of the World Bank during Tuesday plenary.
The motion was sponsored by Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), and was titled “In Support for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)”.
The Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) had also endorsed the candidacy Mrs Iweala for the position.
The endorsement by the 15-member-state regional group is a boost to Mrs Okonjo-Iweala candidature in the race following a decision by the African Union (AU) to reject her nomination.
In presenting his motion, Elumelu stated that if the former minister emerges as Director General of the WTO for the period of 2021-2025, “she will be the first female and first African to have occupied the office.”
He acknowledged that President Muhammadu Buhari having 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, her reputation as a fearless reformer and excellent negotiator graciously endorsed her as the nations candidate for the WTO job.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic at hand and 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, hence the need for a capable hand that can make the WTO fit to thrive for the 21st century. There is no gainsaying that Dr Ngozi Okonjo-lweolo has the requisite capacity and experience to handle the challenges of WTO at this critical moment.
“This is the perfect time for Africa to assume leadership at the WTO and all concerned stakeholders, must unanimously commit to achieving this”.