ABUJA, Apr 16 – The Nigerian candidate to head the World Bank said on Monday that the appointment was not being decided on merit and that the US nominee would win.
“You know this thing is not really being decided on merit,” Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, also a former World Bank managing director, told reporters at a briefing on the country’s 2012 budget.
“It is voting with political weight and shares and therefore the United States will get it.”
The World Bank’s directors meet on Monday to decide who will be the powerful institution’s next chief, with all expectations that the United States will maintain its unbroken lock on the position.
Okonjo-Iweala said that despite the apparent failure of developing nations to have a nominee appointed to the post, her candidacy had helped inject change into the process.
The US nominee, Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim, faced a challenge for the first time for 66 years from two strong developing country candidates.
The other candidate, former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo, dropped out on Friday complaining that the selection process was all political.
“It will never ever be the same again,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
“So we have won a big victory. Who gets to run the World Bank – we have shown we can contest this thing and Africa can produce people capable of running the entire architecture.”