June 10, 2023


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Olusegun Bamgbose, National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, has written President Donald Trump over the US opposition to the appointment of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

In a letter forwarded to White House on Wednesday, Bamgbose made a passionate appeal to the US Government to withdraw its opposition to Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination as consensus candidate for the WTO top job.

Bamgbose noted that the other candidate, South Korean Minister Yoo Myung-hee is no doubt a prominent trade expert, who has distinguished herself as an experienced trade negotiator and trade policy maker, but insisted, however, Okonjo-Iweala has an edge over her.

“Okonjo-Iweala is a well known economic guru, well seasoned in international economic affairs. She is not only versatile, but she has a verifiable achievements, that are cogent and convincing,” he said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media on Thursday.

“She is widely acclaimed to be a woman who is firm, focused and forthright. She is not only experienced in trade negotiation, but she is exceptional in policy making.

“This is no doubt a very challenging period for WTO and international trade and this will require a person that is not just an economic expert, but a reformer and a strategist.

“Okonjo-Iweala is highly recommended. Our support for her has nothing absolutely to do with her being an African or Nigerian, but rather we honestly believe and hold that she has the the capability and the charisma to be the next Director General of WTO.

“The organization will certainly need ‘someone real, hands on experience in the field’ just like US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer emphasized.

“We solicit for your support, not just for her to emerge or win, but your support is highly needed to create a very conducive working atmosphere for her.

“We strongly covet your support and we hope that the US government will withdraw its opposition to her emergence as the consensus candidate for the top job,” he said.

The United States of America on Wednesday rejected the appointment of Nigeria’s Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as the DG of WTO.

The WTO’s bid to pick its new leader has been plunged into uncertainty for this reason.

Three WTO ambassadors, charged with finding a new leader for the organisation had decided that Okonjo-Iweala should be the next DG after she had secured wide cross-regional backing.

However, their decision awaits approval from WTO members after more than four-month selection process.

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