By Henry Umoru & Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA- THE Senate Tuesday condemned in strong terms, the continuous duopoly of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, IMF by United States of America –European thereby locking out Africans and especially emerging economies of the world from the presidency of the financial bodies.
It also expressed concern over the defeat of the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala by the candidate of the United States of America, Dr. Jim Yong Kim following the backing he got from the US Government.
At the end of Tuesday’s plenary after discussions on the motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Solomon Ita Enang and twenty other senators titled nomination of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the President of the World Bank, the Senators urged the government of the United States of America to open up the process of selection of President of the World Bank to a candidate of the emerging economies, Africa and in particular, Nigeria if the bank must be seen as truly a world institution of equal opportunities to member nations.
According to the Senate, the United States of America, the European Nations and their allies must ensure that in the next election where a new President will emerge, an African must be chosen and preferably a Nigerian.
While commending President Goodluck Jonathan , the government and people of Nigeria for supporting and officially sponsoring a Nigerian of good standing, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala as candidate for the President of the World Bank, the Senate also congratulating Iweala for her outstanding world service record and her strong showing in the contest for the World Bank Presidency.
The Senate also appreciated the emerging world economies, the presidents and Governments of African Nations, the African Union, AU, ECOWAS, African Ministers of Finance, Nigerian Legislature, Civil Society Organisations, the International and National media and corporate citizens of the world for their support for the Finance Minister.
Earlier, the twenty one Senators in the motion had raised that ‘’Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweal was nominated for the position of the President of the World Bank which made her one of the three persons contesting for the position;
‘’That her nomination elicited staunch support and universal acclaim not only by African countries, but also South American and all developing countries as well as her colleagues at the World Bank and eminent and corporate citizens of the world;
‘’Noted further that her candidature as Africa’s nominee also received strong endorsement and proactive backing by Nigeria’s vibrant media;
‘’Convinced that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s knowledge and expertise as well as her first hand experience of managing complex financial and economic development issues at national and international levels qualifies her to lead the World Bank;
‘’Further 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 World Bank; Disappointed that the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did not receive fair consideration in an open, transparent and merit-based process;
‘’Concerned that all the past Presidents of the World Bank have been citizens of the United States and or nominees of the United States since the world Bank was founded in 1944.
According to the Senate all the past presidents of the bank hailed from the United States of America without any recourse to other parts of the world and they are: Eugene Meyer, USA, June 1946 to December 1946; John J. Mccloy, USA March 1947 to June 1949; Eugene Black, USA, July 1949 to December 1962; George Woods, USA, January 1963 to March 1968; Robert Mcnamara, USA, April 1968 to June 1981; Alden Clausen, USA, July 1981 to June 1986; Barber Conable, USA, July 1986 to August 1991; Lewis Preston, USA, September 1991 to May 1995; James Wolfenshn, USA, June 1995 to May 2005; Paul Wolfowitz, USA, June 2005 to June 2007 and Robert Zoelick, USA, July 2007 to April 2012.