President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This was announced tweet posted by the Presidential aide on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, adding that the current Director-General of the intergovernmental organization, Roberto Azevedo, is stepping down from his position on August 2020, a year ahead of the end of his tenure: ”President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Okonji-Iweala as Nigeria’s candidate for the position of the Director-General of World Trade Organization. DG Azevedo is stepping down in August 2020, a year earlier, so the election of the new DG, originally scheduled for 2021, may take place much earlier”. Meanwhile Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian president in a tweet on Wednesday, lauded the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a candidate for the office of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation , commending Buhari on the move: “I commend President @MBuhari for nominating Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala @NOIweala for the position of Director General of the World Trade Organization. @wto” – EJS
Buhari endorsement of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) top job, rubbed Egypt the wrong way arguing that the executive decision of the African Union (AU) which had set a deadline of November 30, 2019, for African countries to nominate candidates had been violated, claiming Iweala’s nomination was late and should not be recognised.
However, the WTO accepted her nomination on Tuesday saying that nominations were still open until July 8, 2020.