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WTO: Uncertainty as US rejects Okonjo-Iweala appointment

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The United States of America has rejected the appointment of Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organization, WTO.

The WTO’s bid to pick its new leader has been plunged into uncertainty for this reason, according to Reuters.

Three WTO ambassadors, charged with finding a new leader for the organisation had decided that Okonjo-Iweala minister should be the next DG after she had secured wide cross-regional backing.

However, their decision awaits approval from WTO members after more than four-month selection process.

The Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance squared up against South Korean trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee in the final round.

The head of the WTO ambassadors in a meeting on Wednesday relayed their recommendation to WTO members

But the US kicked against it saying they did not back the Nigerian.

Any member of the WTO can block the nomination as the decision needs to be approved by consensus.

“One delegation could not support the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi and said they would continue to support South Korean minister Yoo. That delegation was the United States of America,” WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva after the closed-door meeting.

The organisation has set a meeting to settle the matter for November 9, 2020 less than a week after the U.S presidential election.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of Cater and merger consult, Mazi Godson Azu while reacting to the recent development said there is still hope for the Nigerian Candidate as the world awaits the full official announcement by WTO.

Mr Godson who described Dr Ngozi as a Great Amazon said he has confidence that she would still emerge as the new DG, regardless of US interest and power politics. 

“We therefore join faith with the consensus member states of WTO on this short delay, but not denied opportunity for Africa and Nigeria.”