Claim that Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed WTO Director-General is FALSE | International Centre for Investigative Reporting

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Multiple viral posts claiming that Nigeria’s nominee for the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed by the organisation surfaced online Thursday October 8.

The posts, which came in different variations, were published on Facebook, Twitter and some online blogs including Observers TimesSahel StandardMyMediaAfrica9NewsNG and Atlantic Post  among others and they have gone viral.

Some of it read: Breaking: Okonjo-Iweala appointed 1st female leader of WTO.”

“BREAKING: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has just been appointed as the new—and first female—Director General of the World Trade Organization. Congratulations!”

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed the new DG of the World Trade Organization (WTO). She is the first African & the first woman to head the WTO. Mama is Excellence!! She is Merit!!”

The false report on Sahel Standard platform.

THE CLAIM:

That Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

THE FINDINGS:

Checks by the FactCheckHub 

revealed that the claim is false.

Information obtained from the official Twitter handle of the World Trade Organisation (@WTO) indicated that consultation is still ongoing to appoint the organisation’s director-general, adding that consultations resume on October 19th, contrary to the viral posts.

“These are the candidates moving on for members’ further consideration. The result creates an historic precedent for the WTO: the 7th Director-General will become the first woman to lead the Organization. Consultations resume on 19 Oct #WTODG,” the tweet reads.

Similarly, a news release by the WTO on Thursday, October 8, indicated that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria and Yoo Myung-hee of the Republic of Korea have both made it to the final round of the selection process.

“The result creates an historic precedent for the WTO in that it assures that the 7th Director-General will become the first woman to lead the organization. These two candidates were chosen from a field of five(*) that had advanced to the second round of consultations.

“Our aim continues to be to encourage and facilitate the building of consensus among members, and to assist in moving from this final slate of two candidates to a decision on appointment.

“As this is the final round of the consultation process, it should bring us to the point where we can make a recommendation to the General Council concerning that decision,”  the General Council Chair of WTO, Amb. David Walker said in the press statement.

The General Council is the highest decision-making body of the WTO apart from the Ministerial Conference which meets every two years, it added.

Further checks by the FactCheckHub also confirmed that Okonjo-Iweala made it to the final round of the selection process, according to a brief statement on her official Facebook and Twitter pages, though she is yet to be appointed.

“Happy to be in the final round of the #WTO DG campaign! Thanks, WTO members for your continued support of my candidacy. Thanks be to God.

“I could not have made it without the prayers and support of all Nigerians and friends around the world. Thank you Nigerians, Thank you, President Buhari and all my friends. Aluta continua!” she wrote.

It will be recalled that the FactCheckHub had earlier in July 2020 did a similar fact-check debunking claim that Kenya’s Amina Mohammed has beaten Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala for the WTO DG’s position.

THE VERDICT:

From all evidence available, the claim that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is FALSE.

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