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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) October 12, 2020
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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