President Buhari nominates Okonjo-Iweala for the position of WTO DG

Agah's candidacy was withdrawn and Okonjo-Iweala's put forward.

Nigeria's former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has toured the world to sort out global financial problems (Punch)

Okonjo-Iweala served as minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy under Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.

Buhari has withdrawn the candidacy of Yonov Frederick Agah, Nigeria’s permanent representative to the WTO, to make way for Okonjo-Iweala.

The election for the WTO headship is slated for Geneva, Switzerland in 2021.

The winner will serve for a four-year term that will run from 2021 to 2025.

Roberto Azevedo stepped down from the DG position a year before the end of his second term, in the wake of the global financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and permanent mission to the African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) presents compliments to all embassies and permanent missions in Addis Ababa and has the honour to inform that the Federal Government of Nigeria has withdrawn the candidacy of Ambassador Yonov Frederick Agah for election to the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO),” the letter from the presidency reads.

“Nigeria is therefore pleased to request the support of esteemed AU member states as well as permanent missions and embassies in Addis Ababa in favour of the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala.”

Agah is Nigeria’s permanent representative to the WTO and WTO’s Deputy Director-General.

Okonjo-Iweala has had a lot on her plate in recent times.

The former minister currently chairs the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), a public-private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.

She is also a board member of Twitter.

She is also a former Managing Director (operations) of the World Bank.

On March 7, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa appointed her a member of the country’s economic advisory council.

On April 10, Kristalina Georgieva, who is Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), named Okonjo-Iweala a member of the fund’s external advisory group.

On April 12, Okonjo-Iweala was one of four special envoys appointed by the African Union (AU) to mobilise international support for its coronavirus response effort.

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