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Economy & Politics

WTO: US opposing consensus to declare Okonjo-Iweala as DG – Foreign Affairs Ministry

The Ministry announced Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member nations but is being opposed by the US.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that Nigeria’s candidate for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has secured the support of the majority of the member-nations – but is yet to be declared and returned as the winner, as the United States is opposing the consensus.

This was announced in a statement by the Ministry on Thursday evening to inform the nation that the third and final round of the selection process of the WTO DG position was formally announced on Wednesday 28th October 2020.

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

What you should know

Nairametrics reported this week that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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A group of ambassadors also known as “troika” had proposed Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago. The three ambassadors are thought to wield significant powers in determining what is a very “intricate and opaque” process.

READ: #EndSARS: Access Bank announces N50 billion interest-free facility for businesses

The U.S President, Donald Trump blocked the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the WTO’s next DG on Wednesday, citing support for South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

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Dr. Okonjo-Iweala stated that she is positive despite hiccups in her bid to emerge as the next DG of the organization. She said, “Happy for the success & continued progress of our WTO DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members and most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going.”

READ: WTO: Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala gets European Union support

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its statement that, “Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries, but is yet to be declared and returned the winner. This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus. In accordance with the rile of the procedure of the WTO.”

It is important to highlight that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

READ: Transport Ministry to share N10 billion palliative scheme

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The Ministry added that a meeting would be held by the General Council of the WTO on the 9th of November 2020 to declare a final decision on the election process.

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Economy & Politics

National Assembly does not have power to replace constitution – Omo-Agege

The Deputy Senate President has stated that the National Assembly does not have the power to replace the constitution.

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The Deputy President of Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has stated that the National Assembly does not have the power to replace the constitution.

The Senator disclosed this at a meeting with the Alliance of Nigerian Patriots led by Amb. Umunna Orjiako on Wednesday. He was represented by his media aide, Mr. Yomi Odunuga.

Omo-Agege said what could be achieved was an amendment of the constitution by the National Assembly. He urged stakeholders to channel the demands of a new constitution towards constitutional amendment.

“I am not so sure that we as a Parliament have the power to replace the Constitution. We can only make amendments and it is explicit in sections 8 and 9 of the constitution on how we can do that and the requisite number of votes required.

“I say that because there are some top attorneys in this country, who for some reasons, keep saying that we don’t even need any of this, that we should just bring a new constitution. We can’t do that.

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“What we are mandated to do by law is to look at those provisions and bring them up-to-date with global best practices, especially to the extent that it tallies with the views of the majority of Nigerians. So we are not in a position to replace this constitution, but we can only amend.

The senator also said that the Senate would look into issues like restructuring if there is a major demand for it from Nigerians and also the exclusive legislative list.

“But, like I said, most of the issues you have raised here, like zones replacing states, that’s another euphemism for going back to the regions. We will look into that if that is what majority of our people want.

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“You talked about devolution of powers. The preponderance of views we have received so far is that those 68 items are very wide and need to shed some weight and move them to the Concurrent Legislative List.”

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last week, that Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said any plan to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through legal due process from the National Assembly.

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Economy & Politics

Dapo Abiodun presents N339 billion budget to Ogun State Assembly

Ogun State Governor has presented a N339 billion 2021 budget to the State House of Assembly.

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, presented the N339 billion budget for 2021 tagged “Budget of Recovery and Sustainability,” to the Ogun State House of Assembly.

This was disclosed by the Governor on Wednesday after he presented the budget proposal to the House. He added that the budget will remain focused on completing as many projects as possible.

READ: We are working to clear N124 billion backlog of export claims – NEPC

READ: Buhari presents N13 trillion 2021 Budget to National Assembly

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READ: Reps to support total reforms in aviation industry through legislation – Speaker

What they are saying 

Aggregate expenditure for the State Government is N339billion, with a recurrent expenditure of N162billion and capital expenditure of N177billion,” the State Governor said in his statement.

He added that the budget would be focused on project completion in the state.

READ: Sanwo-Olu presents N1.1 trillion 2020 budget

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The budget remains focused on the completion of as many ongoing projects as possible. The State House of Assembly would be presented with the most critical projects, which we must all work collectively to ensure they receive adequate funding,” he said.

READ: Lagos Rail Mass Transit: House of Assembly approves N153 billion for construction

He also said that the budget will provide suitable grounds for recovery from the obvious economic challenges of the current fiscal year, while ensuring that Ogun State’s local economy remains sustainable going forward.

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Economy & Politics

Gov. Wike presents 2021 budget worth N448.6 billion

Rivers State Governor has presented the 2021 budget worth N448.66 billion to the Rivers State House of Assembly.

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Budget, Oyigbo: We announced curfew to prevent ethnic clashes- Wike, #EndSARS: IPOB killed 6 soldiers and 4 policemen, burnt police stations - Wike

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has presented the 2021 budget titled “Budget of Recovery and Consolidation,” worth N448.66 billion to the Rivers State House of Assembly for consideration.

According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria, the budget represents more than 20% increase over the 2020 Revised Budget of N300 billion.

READ: FG’s unsustainable budget deficit and debt service cost

What you should know

  • The 2021 budget comprises the sum of N305.89billion budgeted for capital expenditure, while N142.78billion is earmarked as recurrent expenditure.
  • Of the budgeted sum for capital expenditure, which represents 68.18% of the total sum constituted; Administrative Sector, N87.7 billion; Economic Sector, N105 billion; Law and Justice, N1.7 billion; Social sector, N132 billion; and deductions/Loan repayments, N38 billion.
  • N82.9 billion is budgeted for provision of infrastructure including roads, bridges and the completion of flyover projects at Okoro-Nu-Odo, Rumuola, Rumuogba, and GRA junctions, all in Port Harcourt metropolis.
  • Out of the sum budgeted for recurrent expenditure, N76 billion is for personnel costs; N18.8 billion is for overheads and N47.7 billion will be for grants and transfers to the consolidated revenue charges.

READ: IGR: States generate N612.9 billion in H1 2020, dips by 11.7% 

What they are saying

Commenting on the budget, the Governor said: “The 2021 budget will also prioritise security and sustain existing efforts in combating insecurity and keeping residents safe and secure.

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“We will also deliver the Ogoni/Andoni/Opobo unity road, the Eastern Bypass dualisation, 6th and 7th flyover projects and the Wakama road, as well as all other ongoing rural roads in our communities and local government areas across the state.”

READ: N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund

READ: SEC says state governments have borrowed N900 billion from capital market

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What this means

With about 68.18% of the total budget allocated to capital expenditure, this is a pointer that the present administration is committed to continuing various capital and developmental projects aimed at transforming the state, advancing its economic and social growth, and positioning it as one of the frontline states in Nigeria.

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