The Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America has been directed to deploy all available resources to ensure that Dr. NgoziOkonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister and Africa’s sole candidate for the World Bank Group Presidency, gets elected when the Board of Directors of the bank vote at the Spring meeting of the bank scheduled for April 20 -22, 2012 in Washington DC.
Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
President GoodluckEbele Jonathan gave the directive to Ambassador AdebowaleAdefuye a few days ago following the broad and overwhelming support her candidacy has received globally.
Okonjo-Iweala, a world renowned economist and diplomat, is a two-time Nigerian Minister of Finance and was a Managing Director at the World Bank before she accepted to return to Nigeria to oversee the Nigerian economy.
Influential western journals — The Financial Times of London, The Economist and the New York Times in their weekend editorials openly backed Okonjo-Iweala for the job arguing that she is the most qualified amongst the contenders for the job.
The two other contenders are Jim Yong Kim, the candidate of the United States, who was presented a few hours to the close of nominations by President BarackObama and Colombia’s Jose Antonio Ocampo.
The papers have therefore charged the Board of Directors of the bank to cast their votes based on merit and reject America’s move to impose it’s candidate as replacement for outgoing World Bank Group President, Mr. Robert Zoellick (an American).
“In appointing its next president, the bank’s board should reject the nominee of its most influential shareholder, America, and pick Nigeria’s NgoziOkonjo-Iweala…
“Had Mr. Obama not nominated him (Kim), he would be on no one’s shortlist to lead the World Bank. (Indeed he is a far worse example of Western arrogance than Christine Lagarde, whom the Europeans shoehorned into the IMF job last year: the French finance minister plainly had the CV for the job.),” The Economist Magazine wrote on Sunday.
There has been a gentlemen’s agreement between western powers that the World Bank presidency be reserved for an American while the President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) be reserved for a European. This deal was done around the era of World War II in 1945.
However, following President Jonathan’s directive, THEWILL gathered through a senior Presidency official that Adefuye has hit the streets and has started lobbying a couple of influential personnel in DC and has also reached out to diplomats in the countries with the swing votes in the bank.
The United States is the largest shareholder with about 16 percent of the votes; the European Union states have a combined shareholding of about 29 per cent.
Other major shareholders include Japan, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.