President Muhammadu Buhari has assured former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the Federal Government will do all within its power to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the country will push until she wins.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari made the promise while receiving Okonjo-Iweala at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, October 12, 2020.
Nigeria’s candidate, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the South Korean candidate, Yoo Myung-Hee, are the 2 remaining candidates, who have been shortlisted for the third and final round in the selection process that will choose who will lead the trade organization.
Whoever emerges from the 2 candidates, will become the first female to lead the 25-year-old organization.
In the statement titled “We’ll push, push until you win, President Buhari assures Okonjo-Iweala,” Buhari told the Okonjo-Iweala that she deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country and the world.
The President said, “I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this.’’
He assured Okonjo-Iweala that he would make more phone calls and send letters to some world leaders for more support.
He said, “I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party. You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls.”
In her response, Okonjo-Iweala thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.
She said, “I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed.’’
The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning in particular, the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
She asked the President to make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thanked others for their support.
She said she is proud of her country with the president putting a smile on her face.
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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