Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is considering to resign from the WTO, as she denies interest in running for 2023 presidency in Nigeria.
KanyiDaily recalls that Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as WTO Director-General on February 15, 2020, making history as the first woman and the first African to lead the Geneva-based organization.
Barely seven months into her four-year tenure which began on March 1, 2021, the 67-year-old is already frustrated with the workings of the WTO and planned to quit if no headway can be found on critical issues.
Why Okonjo-Iweala Wants To Resign As WTO DG
According to Bloomberg, five WTO officials said that Okonjo-Iweala had grasped the frustrating reality of the WTO’s historical inertia, and was even floating the idea of resigning.
The officials, who declined to be identified, also claimed Okonjo-Iweala has repeatedly told ambassadors and staff that she could easily walk away from the job, and reminds them she hasn’t bought any furniture for her temporary home in Geneva.
An early departure of the WTO’s top trade official would add yet another layer of chaos to an organisation suffering from an existential crisis that may lead governments to conclude the WTO was not a credible forum for addressing their shared challenges.
Last year, Okonjo-Iweala’s predecessor – Roberto Azevedo – cited the lack of progress at the WTO as his primary reason for resigning from the organisation a year before his tenure was scheduled to end.
Some Geneva trade officials told Bloomberg that Okonjo-Iweala was planning to quit the WTO job because she wants to run in the 2023 presidential election in her native country of Nigeria.
Okonjo-Iweala Speaks On Running For 2023 Presidency
When contacted, Okonjo-Iweala refuted claims of running for the 2023 Nigerian presidency, but she didn’t comment about her threats to resign as the WTO DG.
She described the speculation as “utterly ridiculous and not true” in a statement to Bloomberg News.
“I just got here. I am enjoying what I’m doing,” she told Bloomberg News in a television interview.
“It is a very exciting job and I am trying to have some successes here.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was recently named in Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world for the year 2021.