By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Erudite economic expert, Prof Uche Uwaleke has said that the emergence of Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the Director General of (WTO), will raise the profile of Nigeria in the International Community.
Commenting on the confirmation of the former Minister of Finance as the first female to head the global financial body, Uwaleke stated that this will also position Nigeria to play leading roles in Africa.
Speaking in an interview with Prompt News Online on Tuesday, the Nasarawa University don said the avalanche of congratulatory messages from world leaders to Dr Mrs Okonjo Iweala on her emergence as the DG of the WTO “is a testimony to the fact that she represents a round peg in a round hole”.
According to him, “there is no doubt that this development will raise the profile of Nigeria in the International community”.
Speaking further, Uwaleke said “It will also position Nigeria to play prominent roles in Africa especially in relation to the AfCFTA and the Africa Agenda 2063 both of which are expected to receive support from the WTO.
“The WTO has been criticized for not catering for the interest of developing member countries. As an African, I have no doubt that she will use her good Office to ensure that developing countries are not made dumping grounds and that the age-long trade asymmetry which favours developing countries is looked into.
“There is also the big issue of rebuilding trust in an organisation in which many member states have lost confidence in the dispute settlement mechanisms. It is gratifying to note that she has promised to address this.
“Leveraging her experience, she has also promised to take on other issues tangential to trade which are not specifically part of the WTO primary mandate. These include climate change and access to vaccines including COVID’19.
“Given her exposure and personal relationship with the heads of other international organisations such as the World Bank and the IMF, it is expected that these bodies will collaborate more in the area of reducing poverty and improving peoples welfare particularly in developing countries.
“Indeed, the entire world is full of expectations and is yearning for reforms in the WTO. I am confident Dr Okonjo Iweala, given her antecedents, will not disappoint”, Uwaleke opined.