Meanwhile, the former Nigerian Finance Minister says she remains positive of becoming the first African and first female director-general of the WTO, notwithstanding opposition by the United States to her candidacy.

The former World Bank director said she felt humbled to have been declared the candidate with the largest votes amongst the 164 member states of the 25-year-old global trade organisation.

Okonjo-Iweala made the declaration in a tweet on Thursday.

“Happy for the success & continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus.

“We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!” she wrote.

Some Nigerians had likened the US opposition to Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy to similar hostility experienced by Akinwumi Adesina in his aspiration for re-election as president of the African Development Bank.