The ministry of foreign affairs says it will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emerges director-general of the World Trade Organisation.
Okonjo-Iweala, who is Nigeria’s candidate for the WTO top job, was named the most preferred candidate on Wednesday.
However, the US opposed her candidature and this caused a set back for her ambition.
A statement signed by Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, on Thursday, said Nigeria will continue to consult with stakeholders ahead of the WTO’s November 9 general council meeting.
“The ministry of foreign affairs wishes to inform that the third and final round of the selection process of thc director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was concluded On Tuesday, 27th October, 2020 and the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October, 2020,” the statement read.
“The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.
“This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 member states of WIO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus; in accordance with the rule of procedure ofthe WTO.
“It is important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-lweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.
“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realised.”
Commenting on the development, Okonjo-Iweala said a positive attitude will be maintained despite the hiccups.
“Happy for the success & continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on November 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!” she tweeted.
The US, on Wednesday, said it would back South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee despite Okonjo-Iweala’s US citizenship status.