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Economy & Politics

Update: WTO DG: President Buhari meets Okonjo-Iweala in Aso Rock

Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has today, met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock.

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WTO, Okonjo-Iweala joins South Africa's presidential economic advisory council as nation struggles with recession, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala officially declared candidate with the largest and broadest support among members

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting with Nigeria’s candidate for the vacant position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She was led to the meeting with the President by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubair Dada; and the Minister of State, Industry Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagun.

READ: WTO: Nigeria’s Ngonzi Okonjo-Iweala still in contention as candidates reduced to 2

This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, on his official twitter handle.

Also present in the meeting with the president is the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari

Okonjo-Iweala is one of the remaining 2 candidates still in the race for the WTO top job.

READ: WTO: Nigeria’s Ngonzi Okonjo-Iweala still in contention as candidates reduced to 2

This is coming a few days after the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his support for Okonjo-Iweala and described her as the right person for the job of the WTO DG as she is capable of repositioning the international trade organization.

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Nairametrics had in June 2020, reported the nomination of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, by President Muhammadu Buhari, for the position of Director-General WTO after the reported withdrawal of the candidacy of Yonok Frederik Agah, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to WTO.

READ: FG meets group to access AfCFTA’s $650 billion market

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Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, made it to the third and final round of voting for the top job at WTO on the November 7 from an initial shortlisted of 8 candidates that were later pruned down to 5 candidates.

Whoever wins the contest with a decision is expected to take over an organization mired in multiple crises, trade conflicts and struggling to help member states navigate a severe global economic slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The pair received a boost earlier this week when EU member states officially threw their weight behind them.

President Buhari has given his support and that of his administration to her effort to clinch the position.

 

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business News

Financial Autonomy: Governors, State Speakers reach agreement

The Governor also said that the final document of the agreement should be ready for implementation by May 2021.

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The Governors’ Forum, Conference of Speakers of State Legislature and other governance stakeholders announced that they reached a resolution over the implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary.

This was disclosed by the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi, after the meeting, which was held in Abuja on Monday, and presided by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

What the Governor said

“We are here for legislative and judicial autonomy and Governors; Speakers of State Assemblies and the Judges of the States are on the same page as far as this issue is concerned,” he said.

We just emerged from a meeting with the Solicitor General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary and those of the Conference of Speakers and we are all in force; an agreement has been reached.

READ: Finance Minister tasks FG and state governments to control spending

The issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomy.

As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance. So, that issue has been fully and holistically addressed,” Fayemi said.

The Governor also said that the final document of the agreement should be ready for implementation by May 2021 and urged striking workers  to return  to offices “because as far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned and the President, through his Chief of Staff, has been monitoring what has been happening.”

What you should know

Nairametrics reported earlier this month that members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) went on strike with the closure of Federal High Courts in different states across the nation. The union said the purpose of the strike was to draw attention to the financial autonomy of Nigeria’s Judiciary.

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Business

Finance Minister tasks FG and state governments to control spending

The Minister also denied claims that the FG printed N60 billion as top-up for March FAAC numbers.

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land borders to be reopened soon, Finance, Ministaer, vow to recover AMCON debt through issuance of promissory notes, FG reiterates stance on IPPIS as ASUU threatens strike, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed identifies capital market as key driver for economic growth , Nigeria has paid $1.09 billion to service its debts in 2019  , Dividends on oil proceeds will be taxed - FG , State governments own most bad roads - Finance Minister says, Budget deficit increases by N351.98 billion, as FG misses revenue target, Economy: Funding MSMEs in Nigeria , Finance Bill: New tax regime to take effect from Jan 2 - FG , Again, Finance Minister argues that Nigeria is not in debt distress , ECOWAS: Single currency regime not kicking off in 2020  , FG: CBN holds N43 billion stamp duty charges collected by banks , FG may shift deadline to deactivate bank accounts without tax verification, Confusion as ministry and presidency disagree over Finance Act start date, 7.5% VAT: Implementation to begin Feb 1 – FG , Finance Minister: Nigeria to go into recession if ..., Foreign tech companies that will now pay tax to FGN: see the criteria

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has called on Governments on all levels in Nigeria to control spending amid decreasing revenues and urged for prudent government spending. The Minister also denied claims that the Federal Government printed N60 billion as top-up for March FAAC numbers.

The Minister disclosed this in an interview on Monday and warned that the FG was not generating enough revenue to align with its spending habit.

READ: UK to return £4.2million seized from Ibori to Nigeria

Zainab Ahmed added that the FG would maintain its stance from January 2021 to end total fuel subsidies in Nigeria, and confirmed talks with organised labour on subsidy removal.

“As a nation, the Federal, State and Local governments must review expenditure patterns. We are spending too much and we are not generating enough,” she said.

READ: Resolving the global debt and liquidity crises, issues and possible solutions

What you should know 

Nairametrics reported last month that the Debt Management Office had announced that Nigeria’s public debt at end of 2020 was N32.915 trillion. The DMO said the sum of the debt included the Debt Stock of the Federal and State Governments, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

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