ECOWAS endorses former minister for finance for WTO DG

Babalola Seyi

The Economic Community of West African States has certified the candidacy of Dr Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This was contained in a statement signed by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, on behalf of the Heads of State and Government.

Okonjo – Iweala , Nigeria’s former Coordinating Minister of the Economy , had been nominated for the top job by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).

The leaders of the regional bloc “ acknowledged the strong academic and professional background of Dr Okonjo – Iweala and her very large experience in national affairs as Nigeria ’ s Finance Minister ( 2003 – 2006 and 2011 – 2015 ) and Nigeria ’ s Foreign Affairs Minister briefly in 2006 ” .

They said their endorsement of Okonjo – Iweala’s candidature is conditioned on her academic and over 30 years of experience as a Development Economist.

The leaders also called on other African and non – African States to support the former minister.

Nominations for the job are expected to close on July 8 following which candidates will be invited to meet with WTO Council members at a special General Council meeting.

The successful candidate will succeed the current Director- General, Mr Roberto Azevêdo, who has announced that he will step down on August 31 .

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