BY Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA — In spite of the spirited fight by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the position of the President of the World Bank, indications emerged last night that United States of America’s candidate, Mr. Jim Yong Kim will win comfortably.
Competent sources said in Abuja that although the minister remained the most qualified candidate for the position, merit has been sabotaged by the United States and that with its European allies, it is not possible for Dr. Okonjo-Iweala to win.
America and the Europeans have the controlling shares of the bank.
It was learnt that at the end of the interview/introduction of the candidates last Wednesday, the Board of Directors of the bank scheduled a meeting for last Friday to discuss the candidates and their merits of each of them.
However, it was learnt that pro-American members of the board rejected the only agenda of the meeting which was to discuss what qualifications and experiences the individual candidate has to bring onboard.
The pro-American members were said to have insisted that such discussions were not necessary, as they were said to have been uncomfortable with any discussion that won’t make Kim “look good.”
America and Western Europe are traditional allies on world issues and with such a combination, not even the support of the entire emerging markets can earn Nigeria’s candidate the World Bank presidency.
It will be recalled that America stood behind Europe, France to be specific when the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Madame Christine Lagarde, was appointed.
The two Bretton Woods institutions, IMF and the World Bank, have been headed by Europeans and Americans, respectively, since they were established in 1944.
Analysts have said, however, that Okonjo-Iweala’s battle for the World Bank presidency has clearly demonstrated an unprecedented courage on her part and a loud statement that time has come for things to be done differently in the bank by electing the most qualified of candidates rather than just accepting whoever America presents as its candidate.