WTO, Nigerians attack US over opposition to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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Nigerians have taken to social media to blast U.S President Donald Trump and his administration for opposing Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

Many Nigerians had expressed delight when key WTO ambassadors led by New          Zealand’s Ambassador David Walker proposed Okonjo-Iweala as the best candidate for the job earlier this week but the Trump administration, global arbiter on trade tried to paralyse the WTO’s role by blocking appointments to its appeals panel.

However, while most of the 164 member states that comprise the WTO supported the former Nigerian finance minister to take up the role, the US delegation opposed the move, saying it supported South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee instead.

READ ALSO: Finally, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala becomes first woman to head WTO

Reacting to the US claims, the World Trade Organisation has maintained that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate for the office of the director-general of the organisation, has the best chance at getting a consensus and face considerable challenges with rival economies bickering amid rising tensions and protectionism during a coronavirus-induced trade plunge.

Ngozi, who remains unperturbed about the situation is a 66-year-old former finance minister, world bank managing director, and development expert who has branded herself a “do-er”, saying she has the political clout to command influence in capitals.

The WTO itself has called a meeting for 9 November, less than a week after the election, by which time it hopes to have secured full backing for Nigeria’s Ngozi.

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