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Around the World

CBN clears air on Diaspora Remittances, official inflows $2.6bn not $26bn 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the official inflows of the remittances of Nigerians living abroad to the country was $2.6 billion and not $26 billion

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 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that the official inflows of the remittances of Nigerians living abroad to the country was $2.6 billion and not $26 billion as quoted in some quarters.  

The apex bank cleared the air after some experts argued that amount had not really impacted positively on the economy. 

Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroaforwho queried the sources of the data being referenced by criticsdismissed the representations as fraught with inaccuracies as he alleged that some people appeared to have misrepresented the transactions that constituted diaspora remittances. 

He explained that the data, purported to be from the World Bank had also been queried by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN, as it did not reflect the actual amount of inflows from Nigerians living abroad.  

He said, We are looking for the so called $26 billion diaspora cash because such cash will impact positively on our reserve. Understanding the methodology through which the data was sourced could provide an insight into why critics’ diaspora figures might be off the target. 

Meanwhile, a former Minister of FinanceAnthony Ani, had queried the huge sum alleged to be missing through diaspora remittances.  

Ani, who alleged massive foreign exchange laundering in banks, explained that in 1995 the Ministry of Finance reviewed the country’s sources of foreign revenues and found that nothing was coming in from Nigerians in the Diaspora, whereas India and Jamaica were living on foreign exchange from their citizens abroad. 

“The fact is that the Diaspora remittances are not retained in Nigeria and there is a collaboration between the CBN, Nigerian banks and Western Union/MoneyGram; in such an event, government must investigate the infraction, punish the money launders, and recover all past Diaspora remittances retained abroad!” 

READ ALSO: NNPC vows to be transparent, set to publish details of petroleum product supplies]

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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    Appointments

    Okonjo-Iweala announces appointment of 4 Deputy DG for WTO

    The DG of the WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has appointed 4 new Deputy Director-Generals for the international trade organization.

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    Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

    The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, announced the appointment of 4 new Deputy Director-Generals for the international trade organization.

    The 4 newly appointed Deputy Director-General are Angela Ellard of the United States, Anabel González of Costa Rica, Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam of France and Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang of China.

    The disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by the WTO on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, and can be seen on its website.

    This is coming barely 2 months after the resumption of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of WTO.

    Okonjo-Iweala in her statement said, “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of four new Deputy Directors-General at the WTO. It is the first time in the history of our Organization that half of the DDGs are women. This underscores my commitment to strengthening our Organization with talented leaders whilst at the same time achieving gender balance in senior positions. I look forward to welcoming them to the WTO.’’

    Ms Angela Ellard (United States) has a distinguished career of service working at the US Congress as Majority and Minority Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director. She is internationally recognized as an expert on trade and international economic policy, negotiating trade agreements and supporting multilateral solutions as part of an effective trade and development policy. Ms Ellard has negotiated and delivered significant bipartisan trade policy outcomes and legislation for well over 25 years with Members of U.S. Congress and senior Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administration officials. Ms Ellard also worked as a lawyer in the private sector, working on trade litigation and strategy, policy and legislative issues. Ms Ellard obtained her Juris Doctor, cum laude from Tulane University School of Law and her Master of Arts in Public Policy also from Tulane. Ms Ellard is a frequent lecturer at law, graduate, and undergraduate classes and has published articles on trade law and policy.

    Ms Anabel González (Costa Rica) is a renowned global expert on trade, investment and economic development with a proven managerial track record in international organizations and the public sector. In government, Ms Gonzalez served as Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica; as Director-General for International Trade Negotiations; as Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE); and as Special Ambassador and Chief negotiator of the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. Ms Gonzalez also served at the World Bank as a Senior Director, the WTO as Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division and as Senior Consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank. More recently, Ms Gonzalez has worked as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Ms Gonzalez obtained her master’s degree from Georgetown University Law Center with the highest academic distinction and has published extensively on economic issues and trade.

    Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam (France) has held senior management positions in the French Government on trade, most recently as Permanent Representative of France to the WTO. He has also held a number of senior positions in the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the French Treasury. He has also served as Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre in Geneva. He has accumulated a deep and practical knowledge of government practices on trade as well as being familiar with high-level dialogues on trade and international economic operations. He has published a number of articles on trade-related issues, in particular when serving as Senior Research Fellow on International Trade at the French Institute for International Relations (IFPRI). Ambassador Paugam graduated from ENA in Paris and obtained degrees in Political Science from the Institute of Political Science in Aix-en-Provence and in Law from the Faculty of Law Aix-Marseille III.

    Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang (China), who is currently serving as Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Commerce of China, has long and extensive experience on WTO issues, international negotiations, and policy research. Ambassador Zhang, until recently, served as China’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and previously as Deputy Permanent Representative.

    He has had an extensive career of more than 30 years in international trade, serving as Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation; as Director-General of the Department of WTO Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce; and as Director-General of the Department of Policy Research of the Ministry of Commerce. Ambassador Zhang holds a bachelor’s degree in Law, a Master’s degree in International Relations and a PhD in International Politics from Peking University.

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    Around the World

    Meet Tami, the Nigerian teen with admission offers from 5 Ivy colleges, 9 others

    Tami’s goal is to work on innovations in AI and augmented reality and he hopes to work on research and projects in these fields in college.

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    Before now Oluwatamilore Kabiawu, popularly known as ‘Tami’ was only known as a 4.6 GPA student. But a few weeks back, news about him hit the web when he got admission offers from 14 colleges, including 5 Ivy Colleges.

    While his colleagues are worried about getting accepted into their choice Colleges, Kabiawu’s greatest challenge now is which to choose among a myriad of colleges. Some of the colleges are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and MIT.

    Tami’s secret

    The secret of the Fair Lawn High School senior has been described in several ways by different people.  To Joseph Lake, his guidance counsellor, Tami’s unrelenting spirit has taken him this far.

    He said, “Tami is truly a gifted young man. What Tami is experiencing is the result of his self-esteem and feelings of love and belongingness being nurtured to its full potential.”

    His mum, Dami, commented, “I’ve always taught them [Tami and twin brother Tommy] to believe in themselves and be very polite, to always stand their ground.”

    READ: What to consider as you budget for college

    A close relative hinted that Tami (Class Of 2021), is leaning heavily toward Harvard University, “the best of both worlds — technology and liberal arts,” where he aims to major in computer science and do research into artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

    To Kabiawu, his success stems from hard work and persistence.

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    “What makes me most happy is making these little goals and sticking with them, and gradually over time achieving the big goal,” he said.

    READ: Steps to take to bag international scholarships

    The Cow head story

    The accomplished track and field athlete, who is also the President of the Future Business Leaders of America and National Honor Society, is not limited to academics. His ability to think out of the box, and break norms is also his strength.

    He said, “I wrote my college essay on decapitated cow heads, which I know sounds a little crazy. I was 9 when I visited my family in Nigeria for a wedding.

    The cows were slaughtered near the reception so that the meat would not need to be refrigerated. As I walked by I just saw these decapitated cow heads and was really, like, shocked by it and really appalled.

    Rather than dismissing the unfamiliar, I recognized the importance of embracing differences. I likened the experience to growing up in Fair Lawn.

    READ: 7 Ways to pay for your higher education

    Jaiz bank

    I didn’t necessarily fit a particular stereotype of how people thought Black students should act. “Over time, I’ve gained confidence in myself, and people are drawn to that, and I was allowed to be more authentic.”

    This experience means a lot to the athlete, as the Cow heads changed his perception about fighters like him.

    “Now, I see “cow heads” as a metaphor for people who are unabashedly themselves and unafraid to show who they are,” he said.

    What you should know

    Tami’s goal is to work on innovations in AI and augmented reality and he hopes to work on research and projects in these fields in college.

    Tami was born in London, moved to Atlanta for a short while, then moved to Troy, New York where he attended elementary school while his mother pursued a PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

    The family relocated to Fair Lawn when Tami started sixth grade at Memorial Middle School. His twin brother, Tommy, will be playing football at RPI next year.

    Kabiawu is set to graduate on June 22 at Fair Lawn High School’s Sasso Field.

    Tami Kabiawu’s dad lives and works in Nigeria, and the son said his interest in technology stems from being able to connect with him via FaceTime and WhatsApp.

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