Nigerian Senators dancing to the wrong song all over again


Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba

By Kunle Akogun

Senators Tuesday expressed misgivings over the role played by the United States in “not allowing a fair and merit-based process in the selection of a new President for the World Bank.”

Following the adoption of a motion on the nomination of Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the Presidency of the World Bank, the lawmakers also expressed concern that all the past Presidents of the World Bank had been citizens of the US and those nominated by the US since the bank was founded in 1944.

They then “urged the Government of the United States of America, the European nations and their allies to open up the process of the selection of President of the World Bank, and ensure that the next term, a candidate of the emerging economies, an African, preferably a Nigerian, is chosen to head the World Bank, thus making a truly world institution of equal opportunity to member nations.”

Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who brought the motion, expressed disappointment that the candidature of Okonjo-Iweala did not receive fair consideration in an open, transparent and merit-based process.

He said the Senate was convinced that her nomination was a clear indication of the trust the World Bank had in her abilities to deploy her skills, commitment and professionalism to steer the affairs of the bank.

He noted that her candidature also received strong endorsement and proactive backing from Nigeria’s legislature and the Nigerian media, even as her nomination elicited strong staunch support and universal acclaim from African, South American and other developing countries.

The motion however noted that the candidature of Dr. Jim Yong Kim received Europe’s backing for the World Bank job because the United States had backed France’s nomination of Christine Lagarde for the top role at the International Monetary Fund after the resignation of Dominique Kahn.

“The emergence of Dr. Jim Yong Kim, another nominee of the United States of America, as the President of the World Bank is an indication of the need to ensure an open, transparent and merit-based process in the election of the World Bank President,” the motion said.

While voting on its resolution, the Senate lauded the efforts of Okonjo-Iweala and her strong showing at the contest for the President of the World Bank.

It also commended President Goodluck Jonathan and his government for giving support to the minister for the contest.

The Senate however congratulated Jim Yong Kim for his emergence as the new World Bank President.


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