REVEALED: Okonjo-Iweala Excites WTO Staff As Council Considers Next DG Monday

Ahead of the announcement of Nigeria’s global economist and former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), expectations are high as per the leadership shift that the organization will experience when her selection is confirmed.

There are also expectations regarding the role Okonjo-Iweala will play in moving Nigeria, Africa and the world forward, when she takes over the helm of affairs at the World Trade Organization.

A foreign affairs expert told THE WHISTLER that Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as WTO DG will most likely benefit Africa, just as the WTO Deputy Director-General, Alan Wolff, has revealed that there was palpable excitement at the organization over the appointment of the next DG by Monday.

Wolff had said so in his remarks delivered to the Washington International Trade Association, as published on the WTO website, seen by our correspondent.

“The selection of a new Director-General for the WTO is being met with enormous enthusiasm among our Members and the Secretariat staff. It is also a welcome relief for myself and my three colleagues, the Deputies-Director General who have stood in, in an acting capacity, for these past five months,” he had said.

Recall that the former minister had acknowledged the great role played by the Nigerian government, African Union(AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in her pursuit for the WTO job.

She noted, via a tweet, that they gave her the required support she needed.

On its part, the federal government floated to the international community that Okonjo-Iweala was “our widely respected citizen” and that she was capable of leading the organization.

THE WHISTLER reports that she has worked as an international development expert in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America for the space of 30 years (as stated on her personal website).

Speaking to our correspondent on Saturday, a lecturer in International Politics at the University of Abuja, Dr. Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim, said that irrespective of the lobbying of the federal government, Okonjo-iweala’s progress among the other contestants was due to her competence and qualification.

“There was no amount of lobby that could have resulted in her emergence by Nigerian government, if you are qualified, you don’t need to lobby.

“If Nigeria spends 10 years lobbying for Okonjo-Iweala she might not have it but it is her credentials, qualification and reasoning and legitimacy by results that showed that she had been a perfect leader and that is why the new regime of the United States approved her,” he said.

Furthermore, Ghali said she may favour Africa in terms of international trade policies, world trade investment as well as international economic relations.

He added that she could be effective, “in motivating Africa and providing some of the necessary condition, framework and instrument through which the continent and Nigeria can actually develop their own trade system the WTO as well as become significant in this particular organization.”