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Delay in passing PIB creating uncertainties in Petroleum Industry – WEIN 

Ogbue said the bill will ensure a new future of legislation in the sector.

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Delay in passing PIB creating uncertainties in Petroleum Industry - WEIN 

The President of the Women in Energy Network (WEIN),  Mrs Funmi Ogbue, announced on Monday that the delaying the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has led to uncertainties in Nigeria’s Oil and gas industry. 

She said that the current sector framework is ineffective, citing regulatory overlaps in responsibilities, according to NAN. She said, “The expedient passage of and purposeful implementation of the PIB is critical to addressing most of the loopholes in the management and governance of the sector. 

“The PIB when passed into law will improve governance of the sector by strengthening institutions in the areas of clarity of structures, roles, accountability, transparency, and overall efficiency and effectiveness.”

READ ALSO: How Geregu Power became one of the best performing power plants in Nigeria – Akin Akinfemiwa

She added that passing of the bill will ensure a new future of legislation in the sector.  She urged the National Assembly to apply regulatory oversight on the necessary agencies and impact policies that affect the deregulation of the downstream sector that support women. 

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“WIEN will be willing to support the NASS in this review and also in proffering practical strategies and programmes that can improve these programmes and others that can improve the lives and livelihoods of poor women,” she said. 

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It will be recalled that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that the PIB currently with the Executive will be sent to the National Assembly in two weeks time. 

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Mrs Ogbue called for more women to be involved in the sector, especially in board and leadership positions of the MDA’s in the oil and gas sector, and said her organization lobbies for gender equality in the Petroleum Industry. 

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Economy & Politics

WTO DG: US, EU divided over Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo

The US and EU are divided over the choice between Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo for the WTO DG.

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WTO DG: US, EU divided over Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo

The United States and Europe are heading for a dispute over which of the candidates to support for the top position in World Trade Organization (WTO), as the selection of the first woman to head the global trade organization enters a pivotal phase.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the EU is inclined to support Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and may sign off on that position Wednesday, whereas the Trump administration is leaning towards South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee. However, China’s preference and those of other major economies like Brazil and India remain unclear.

READ: WTO: Selection of new DG might be tied to the upcoming US presidential election

The new DG, WTO is expected to be announced in November to replace Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down from the job at the end of August – a year before his term ended. He was the sixth consecutive man to lead the 25-year-old organization.

Rufus Yerxa, former deputy DG of the WTO from 2002 to 2013 and now heads the National Foreign Trade Council, a Washington-based business group representing US companies said, “We shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that this could end in a deadlock and that an outcome will have to wait for the U.S. election and what the next administration decides to do.’

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READ: How the United States plans to control the African Development Bank

While few countries are publicly saying which of the two women they support, the process requires a consensus of the WTO’s 164 members; meaning a single nation could block either Yoo or Okonjo-Iweala. Muddling the picture even further are trading alliances from Africa to Asia strained by three years of tariff wars and protectionist sentiment, only heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, South Korea’s Yoo has struggled to secure support from Japan, a trading partner and rival of South Korea. Deteriorating trade relations between the two export powerhouses has negatively impacted on Yoo’s campaign initially and remain an important consideration in the last phase of the race.

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READ: Standard Chartered partners IFC to offer $1 billion credit facility

In an interview on Friday, Yoo acknowledged that she might have an uphill battle. She said, “Everybody loves an underdog story. I believe I have earned members’ trust through my hard work, sweat and perseverance, and sincerity. I will continue to do that.”

The EU played a critical role in the selection process for the previous round when the 27-nation bloc selected both Yoo and Okonjo-Iweala to be its preferred candidates for the final stage. That effectively sank the candidacy of Kenya’s Amina Mohamed, who had been viewed as an early front-runner in the race.

Since the shortlist was trimmed to two earlier this month, both Yoo and Okonjo-Iweala have been working behind the scenes to shore up support. Among the bargaining chip they can offer to nations that endorse them is a job for their citizens as one of the four WTO deputy DG.

READ: This is what Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is up against

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Nairametrics had earlier reported that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjp-Iweala had secured the support of the 55-member African Union to lead the global trade organization. This is in addition to the endorsement from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Caribbean and the Pacific States, bringing the total to about 79 countries that are currently supporting her candidacy.

Nigeria’s former finance minister has positioned herself as an outsider – one who has never worked at the WTO or led a trade deal negotiation. Last week she called for a return to a multilateral system. In a virtual panel discussion on Thursday, she said, “Let’s strengthen that – that is what will serve the world, and let’s do less of the bilateral spats that we see.”

READ: COVID-19: IMF Chief predicts $345 billion financing gap in African countries 

But Okonjo-Iweala is viewed by people familiar with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s thinking, as being too close to pro-trade internationalists in Washington like Robert Zoellick, the former USTR and World BankPresident. Okonjo-Iweala, who served as a Senior Executive under Zoellick at the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, was a candidate to replace him when he stepped down in 2012.

Lighthizer is a longtime WTO skeptic, and people close to him say he would prefer to see a more technocratic candidate like Yoo, South Korea’s Trade Minister and a 25-year veteran who has helped expand her country’s commercial network through bilateral accords with China, the EU, the U.K., and the U.S. He knows the Korean from having worked with her on the renegotiation of a trade agreement early in the Trump administration.

What this means

It appears that there might be a stalemate in the selection of the new head of the WTO as the 2 parties are very critical and important stakeholders in the global trade organization. The US has always played a key role in deciding who leads the WTO; although, in collaboration with most of its European allies.

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Economy & Politics

FRC to implement new IFRS 17

The FRC is set to implement International Financial Reporting Standard 17 (IFRS) on or before January 2023.

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The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria is expected to implement International Financial Reporting
Standard 17 (IFRS) on or before January 2023. This follows the amendment of the standard on June 25, 2020.

This was disclosed by the Head, Directorate of Accounting Standards Public Sector, FRC, Dr. Iheanyi Anyahara, during a Stakeholders interactive forum with FRC and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) webinar recently.

Nigeria adopted the IFRS as part of measures to improve transparency, reporting practices and full disclosures.

Having adopted the IFRS by the Council, Anyahara explained that all amendments to existing standards alongside the new standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) must be implemented by all reporting entities in Nigeria.

According to him, the Council is aware that implementing IFRS 17 commands a radical departure from current accounting standards and produces complex operational challenges.

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He said, “That is why we are organizing this programme and many more in collaboration with IASB to guide the users of the standards both in application and implementation.

“The Council will be organizing more events in financial reporting, auditing and corporate governance in order to sensitize the general public and lessen the knowledge gap in IFRS standards in Nigeria in collaboration with relevant agencies and organisations.”

Back story:

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Last July, Nairametrics reported when FRC released guidelines for reporting in compliance with the Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance. (NCCG 2018).

In a statement posted on its website, the Council explained that it had been engaging with all regulators of sectors for the purpose of developing sectoral guidelines of corporate governance on specific requirements relevant to each sector, which are not covered under NCCG 2018.

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Coronavirus

China’s economy bounces back from COVID-19 slump, with a growth of 4.9% in Q3 2020

The Chinese economy has seen a growth of 4.9% between July and September, rising from the slump of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hudson Mining Limited, China's economy bounces back from COVID-19 slump, with a growth of 4.9% in Q3 2020

The Chinese economy has continued to show stronger recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as its economy saw growth of 4.9% between July and September – Q3 2020, compared to the same quarter last year. However, the figure is lower than the 5.2% projected by most international economists.

China is now leading the charge for a global recovery based on its latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data. The near 5% growth is a far cry from the slump the Chinese economy suffered at the start of 2020 when the pandemic first emerged.

READ: COVID-19: How CBN policies helped prevent the collapse of the Nigerian economy – Oscar Onyema

READ: TiKTok to take legal actions against President Trump’s ban

China’s trade figures for September also pointed to a stronger recovery, with exports growing by 9.9% and imports growing by 13.2% compared to September last year.

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It appears to be a broadening recovery with the important services sector rebounding. Domestic tourists and travelers have probably helped the recovery continue by spending their money at home because global restrictions mean they can’t yet go abroad. With international travel severely restricted, millions of Chinese have been traveling and spending domestically.

READ: OECD reduces global economic decline to 4.5% from earlier forecast of 6% 

What you should know

  • While the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the year’s growth targets, China remains in a trade war with the US and it has relatively hurt its economy.
  • For the first three months of the year, China’s economy shrank by 6.8% when it saw nationwide shutdowns of factories and manufacturing plants. It was the first time China’s economy contracted since it started recording quarterly figures in 1992.
  • Over the previous two decades, China had seen an average economic growth rate of about 9%; although, the pace has gradually been slowing.
  • There were 637m trips in China over the eight-day holiday which generated revenue of 466.6bn RMB ($69.6bn, £53.8bn), according to data from its Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
  • Duty-free sales in the tropical island province of Hainan more than doubled from last year, soaring by nearly 150% according to the local customs data.

READ: China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

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What they are saying

According to Iris Pang, Chief China Economist for ING in Hong Kong, “I don’t think the headline number is bad. Job creation in China is quite stable which creates more consumption.”

According to Robin Brant, BBC China correspondent, “China’s economy continues to grow at rates unimaginable in other Covid-hit countries. Draconian lockdown measures to control the virus combined with some government stimulus appeared to have worked well. While the growth of 4.9% is slightly below some forecasts, industrial output – a good barometer of state-controlled activity, came in above expectations”

READ: Many Billionaires became richer by 27% during the COVID-19 pandemic – Swiss Bank UBS

READ: Access Bank gets regulatory approval to become a Holding Company

According to Yoshikiyo Shimamine, Chief Economist at the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo, “China’s economy remains on the recovery path, driven by a rebound in exports, but we cannot say it has completely shaken off the drag caused by the coronavirus.”

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