Connect with us
nairametrics

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.

Published

on

WTO, Okonjo-Iweala joins South Africa's presidential economic advisory council as nation struggles with recession

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

GTBank 728 x 90

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.

GTBank 728 x 90

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

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.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

Jaiz bank ads

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

Fidelity ads

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

 

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]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Economy & Politics

Breaking: Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC

Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.

Published

on

Nigeria's election delay

The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.

According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.

Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.

 

GTBank 728 x 90

Details shortly…

Continue Reading

Economy & Politics

Breaking: Some Nigerians mistook promptness of FG response as sign of weakness – Buhari

President Buhari has said that FG’s promptness to consent to the demands of the protesters was taken as a sign of weakness.

Published

on

Buhari says large proportions of new COVID-19 infections now occur in communities

President Muhammadu Buhari has pointed out that the promptness with which the Federal Government acted in meeting the demands of the #EndSARS protesters seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

This was disclosed by the president in his national broadcast on Thursday, October 22, 2020, on the current widespread violence which has engulfed the country following the protest against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

The president said that the government listened to the protesters and after evaluating their five-point demands, they were accepted and some of them implemented, which includes the disbandment of SARS.

In his address to Nigerians, President Buhari said, “As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

“On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

GTBank 728 x 90

“Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

The president said the actions of these elements has caused serious violence which has led to the loss of human lives, attack on correctional facilities, destruction and vandalization of public and private properties, attack on the palace of Oba of Lagos, invasion of International Airport and so on.

While acknowledging that the choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of every citizen as enshrined in the constitution, the president pointed out that this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens and the necessity to operate within the law.

GTBank 728 x 90

Details later…

Continue Reading

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.

Published

on

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.’

GTBank 728 x 90

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.

GTBank 728 x 90

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

Jaiz bank ads

Backstory

Fidelity ads

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.

Coronation ads

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
ikeja electric
Advertisement
Advertisement
Patricia
Advertisement
FCMB ads
Advertisement
IZIKJON
Advertisement
Fidelity ads
Advertisement
first bank
Advertisement
bitad
Advertisement
Stallion ads
Advertisement
financial calculator
Advertisement
deals book
Advertisement
app
Advertisement