Buhari nominates Okonjo-Iweala to replace Agah for WTO DG election


THE federal government of Nigeria is requesting the support of African Union member States, as well as Permanent Missions and Embassies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in favour of the candidacy of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister, for the position of director-general of World Trade Organisation, WTO.

Realnews reports that the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Permanent Mission to the African Union, AU, and United Nations Economic Commission, UNECA, in a letter dated June 4, 2020, communicated the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala to all embassies and permanent missions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The letter also  informed all Embassies and Permanent Missions of the intention of the federal government of Nigeria to withdrawn the candidacy of Ambassador Yonov Fredrick Agah for the election to the position of director general of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

Ngozi- Okonjo-Iweala

“In this regard, Mission also wishes to inform, that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the nomination of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to replace Ambassador Agah, as Nigeria’s candidate for the position of director general of the WTO for the term 2021 – 2025 at the election scheduled to hold in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2021,” the letter stated.

Part of the letter reads: “Okonjo Iweala, a renowned global finance expert, is an economist and international development professional with over 30 years of experience, having worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. Okonjo-Iweala is presently the chair of the board of Gavi, the vaccine Alliance. Since its creation in 200, Gavi has immunised over 760 million children across the globe. She also sits on the boards of Standard Chartered Plc and Twitter inc. She was recently appointed as African union, AU, special envoy to mobilise international financial support in the fight against COVID-19, as well as special envoy for the World health Organisation’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala served as Nigeria’s finance minister from 2003 – 2006, 2011-2015 and briefly as Nigeria’s foreign minister in 2006, the first woman to hold both positions. she had a 25-year career at the World bank as a development economist, rising to the No. 2 position of managing director, Operations. As finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala steered Nigeria through varying degrees of reforms, particularly on macroeconomic, trade, financial and real sector issues.

“As Managing Director (Operation at the World Bank, her several portfolios included oversight responsibility for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia. Dr Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to assist low-income countries during the 2008-2009 food crisis and later in the trying period of the global financial crisis. In 2010, she served as chair of the World Bank’s successful drive to raise $49.3 billion in grants and low interest credit for the poorest countries in the world.”

The federal government did not state the reason for withdrawing Ambassador Agah from the election in the letter.

Ambassador Yonov Frederick Agah

Realnews reports that Agah was appointed as Nigeria’s ambassador to the WTO in 2005. In that capacity, he served as the alternate chief negotiator for the Doha Round and head of Nigeria’s Trade Office to the WTO in the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office in Geneva.




– June 4, 2020 @ 12:11 GMT |

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