ECOWAS ignores AU, endorses Okonjo-Iweala's nomination for top WTO job

ECOWAS ignores AU, endorses Okonjo-Iweala's nomination for top WTO job

- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's nomination for the position of DG World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been endorsed by ECOWAS

- The regional organisation declared its support for Okonjo-Iweala amid controversy her nomination generated

- ECOWAS drummed support for Nigeria's former minister and called on other countries to do the same

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Despite the Arab Republic of Egypt kicking against Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's nomination for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has endorsed the former minister.

According to TheCable, ECOWAS disclosed this in a document signed by its president Mahamadou Issoufou.

The regional organization declared its support for the Nigerian candidate and urged other African and non-African countries to back Okonjo-Iweala.

While referring to Nigeria's former finance minister as a fearless reformer, Issoufou said ECOWAS heads of state and government acknowledged her nomination as Nigeria’s candidate.

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ECOWAS ignores AU, endorses Okonjo-Iweala's nomination for top WTO job
ECOWAS has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari's nomination of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's for the position of WTO DG.
Source: Twitter

Issoufou said ECOWAS leadership considered Okonjo-Iweala’s established reputation, her excellent negotiating skills, and experience of over 30 years among others.

This development is coming after the Nigerian government rejected the conclusions reached by the African Union (AU)’s office of legal counsel on the nomination of Okonjo-Iweala to contest for the office of the director-general of WTO.

The AU's legal arm had stated that the nomination of Nigeria's former finance minister is not in line with the present rules.

The Nigerian government insisted that Okonjo-Iweala’s nomination did not violate any laws as it was a replacement of a previously presented candidate (Yonov Agah) and not a fresh nomination.

The Arab Republic of Egypt had claimed that the nomination of Okonjo-Iweala by President Buhari “is not in conformity with the executive council decision" since the time for this nomination had elapsed in 2019, specifically Saturday, November 30.

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The African nation called on the ministerial committee on candidatures of the AU, that only two persons have been nominated and endorsed for the embattled office: Abdulhameed Mamdouh of Egypt and Eloi Laourou of the Republic of Benin.

Earlier, reported that the WTO confirmed that Okonjo-Iwaela can still run for the office of the director-general of the global body.

The global body went on to note that after their nomination, candidates have three months to make themselves "known to members and to engage in discussions on the pertinent issues facing the organisation."

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