Okonjo-Iweala thanks Buhari, Nigerians after making WTO DG final list


Ex-finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for their support after the World Trade Organization (WTO) confirmed her as one of the top two candidates for the organization’s Director-General (DG) role.

“Happy to be in the final round of the @wto DG campaign. Thanks, WTO members for your continued support of my candidacy,” she tweeted Thursday, hours after the WTO confirmed she made it to the final stage for the DG job.

“I could not have made it without the prayers and support of all Nigerians and friends around the world. Thank you @MBuhari and all my friends. Aluta continua!”

– Final Stage –

“Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Korean minister Yoo Myung-hee will advance to the third and final stage,” WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters at the global trade body’s headquarters in Geneva.

Whoever wins the contest — with a decision due before November 7 — will take over an organisation mired in multiple crises and struggling to help member states navigate a severe global economic slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Roberto Azevedo stepped down as WTO director-general in August a year ahead of schedule. The initial pool of eight candidates to replace him was narrowed down to five in last month’s first round.

Britain’s Liam Fox, Kenya’s Amina Mohamed and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad al-Tuwaijri were knocked out in the second round Thursday.

The pair received a boost earlier this week when EU member states officially threw their weight behind them.

Rather than voting, the 164 WTO member states make decisions by consensus only and have been narrowing down the field of candidates through lengthy consultations.
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