The Federal Government has tipped Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to replace Ambassador Yonov Agah, whose name President Muhammadu Buhari initially sent as Nigeria’s nominee for Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
A note indicating the move by Nigeria and soliciting the support of other embassies at the African Union said the Federal Government has withdrawn the candidacy of Ambassador Yonov Frederick AGAH for election to the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) adding that President Muhammadu BUHARI has approved the nomination of OKONJO-IWEALA to replace AGAH, as Nigeria’s Candidate for the position for the term 2021— 2025 at the elections scheduled to hold in Geneva, Switzerland in 2021.
The note adds: “Dr. 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. Dr. OKONJO-IWEALA is presently the Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“Since its creation in 2000, Gavi has immunized 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 Organization’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.
Dr. OKONJO-IWEALA served twice 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, Dr. OKONJO-IWEALA steered Nigeria through varying degree of reforms, particularly on macroeconomic, trade, financial and real sector issues.
“As Managing Director (Operations) 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.