Former Nigerian minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has given the strongest indication yet that she will throw her hat in the ring for the presidency of the World Bank.
Nigeria’s former Finance Minister said she would consider the post “if nominated to the position and if the circumstances are right.”
The position became vacant earlier this month after current President Jim Yong Kim’s abrupt resignation, three years ahead of schedule.
Okonjo-Iweala, a former senior World Bank official, ran against Kim in 2012 and is seen as a front runner in the race.
Speaking to CNN’s Richard Quest at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Thursday, Okonjo-Iweala said she would run but only under the right conditions.
“I know that because I contested the last time in 2012… many people were asking that question,” she said.
“It is a shareholder’s decision and they have to decide how they want it. Someone has to nominate. If the right person were to nominate, and if the circumstances are right and people feel I can do the job, yes!”
To chose a president at the World Bank, candidates are nominated by the executive directors of the bank. Then a shortlist is compiled and a winner is picked by the bank’s board, according to the bank’s website.
The World Bank has been headed by an American in the entirety of its 73-year history.
Okonjo-Iweala’s candidature seven years ago was the first time a challenge was mounted to the US nominee in the institution’s history.
During the interview, she corrected Quest who said she had declared her candidacy.
“No I have not declared my candidacy, you asked a hypothetical question and I answered it fairly,” Okonjo Iweala she said.
Okonjo-Iweala is an economist with degrees from Harvard and MIT who worked for more than two decades at the World Bank where she eventually rose to become Managing Director.
She served two terms as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance under the Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.