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Around the World

Okonjo-Iweala emerges sole candidate in WTO DG race, as Myung-hee withdraws

Okonjo-Iweala has become the sole candidate in the World Trade Organisation’s Director General race.

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WTO, Nigeria’s former finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala, gets IMF appointment

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister, has become the sole candidate in the World Trade Organisation’s Director-General race, as South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee withdrew her bid to contest.

This was disclosed by Myung-hee after she had mentioned it to the United States, according to Bloomberg.

READ: Court jails Ex-Finbank MD and 3 others over N10.9 billion fraud

According to the report, she took various issues into account “comprehensively” including the need to revitalize the multilateral organization before arriving at this point.

The withdrawal comes after dozens of former US government officials urged President Joe Biden to endorse Okonjo-Iweala after the Trump administration blocked her selection. The opposition halted the selection process because WTO decisions are made on the basis of a consensus of its members.

READ: FG launches N900 million E-Ticketing platform for Abuja-Kaduna railway

What it means

  • If the U.S., Korea and the WTO’s other 162 members join a consensus to appoint Okonjo-Iweala, the WTO can announce a meeting to confirm her appointment within a matter of days.
  • If confirmed, Okonjo-Iweala would be the first woman and the first African to lead the organization in its 25-year history.

READ: Why you need to switch to a new Pension Fund Administrator (PFA)

What you should know

  • Nairametrics had earlier reported that the 66-year-old two-time former minister said she remained positive of becoming the first African and first female director-general in the 25-year history of the WTO despite ‘hiccups’.
  • Okonjo-Iweala serves on Twitter’s board of directors, as chair of the GAVI vaccine alliance as well as a special envoy for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 fight.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Around the World

President Biden revokes Trump’s ban for green card applicants in US

Joe Biden has revoked Donald Trump’s order that blocked many green card applicants from entering the US.

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What would a Joe Biden Presidency mean for Nigeria?

The United States President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, revoked former President Donald Trump’s order that blocked many green card applicants from entering the United States.

Biden rescinded Trump’s proclamation limiting the number of new work visas for temporary foreign workers in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report from Reuters, the order by President Biden was provided by a communication from the White House on Wednesday, February 25, 2021.

READ: China becomes European Union’s biggest trading partner, as it overtakes US

Former President Donald Trump had in June 2020, signed the proclamation that suspended certain categories of non-immigrant work visas as part of the effort to revive the US economy and the need to protect US workers amid high unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, President Biden rejected that reasoning in a proclamation while rescinding the visa ban and said it had prevented families from reuniting in the United States and harmed US businesses.

He pointed out that the suspension of entry imposed in Proclamation 10014, does not advance the interest of the United States.

What you should know

  • The newly sworn US President had pledged to reverse many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies with immigrant advocates recently asking him to lift the visa ban, which was set to expire on March 31.
  • The suspension order by former President Donald Trump for a certain category of non-immigrant work visas includes H-1B visas for work in high-tech industries and a range of others for low-skill workers, interns, teachers, and company transfers
  • In October, a federal judge in California blocked Trump’s ban on those foreign guest workers as it affected hundreds of thousands of US businesses that fought the policy in court.

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Around the World

UK’s Supreme Court rules that Uber drivers are workers not self employed

UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers be classified as workers rather than self-employed.

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Uber, Should Nigeria follow suit as Uber loses operating license in London?, Christmas hell as Uber hikes fares

The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled that the ride-hailing app firm Uber must classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed.

Delivering his judgment, Lord Leggatt said that the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal that it was an intermediary party and stated that drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger, but whenever logged in to the app.

By this pronouncement and ruling by the Supreme Court, the ride-hailing app firm, Uber must classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed, BBC reports.

What they are saying

The former Uber drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, who originally won an employment tribunal against the ride-hailing giant in October 2016, told the BBC they were “thrilled and relieved” by the ruling.

Aslam, president of the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) said,

  • “I think it’s a massive achievement in a way that we were able to stand up against a giant.
  • “We didn’t give up and we were consistent – no matter what we went through emotionally or physically or financially, we stood our ground.
  • “This is a win-win-win for drivers, passengers and cities. It means Uber now has the correct economic incentives not to oversupply the market with too many vehicles and too many drivers”

Aslam claims that Uber’s practices forced him to leave the trade as he couldn’t make ends meet is reconsidering his decision as he returns to driving for the app again, though the process is taking too long.

“It took us six years to establish what we should have got in 2015. Someone somewhere, in the government or the regulator, massively let down these workers, many of whom are in a precarious position

Farrar, on his own part, highlighted that with fares down 80% due to the pandemic, many drivers have been struggling financially and feel trapped in Uber’s system.

  • “We’re seeing many of our members earning £30 gross a day right now. The self-employment grants issued by the government only cover 80% of a driver’s profits, which isn’t even enough to pay for their costs.
  • “If we had these rights today, those drivers could at least earn a minimum wage to live on.”

What you should know

  • By this decision, tens of thousands of Uber drivers are set to be entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay.
  • The proximate implication of this ruling is that Uber could be facing a hefty compensation bill and have wider consequences for the gig economy.
  • The gig economy is based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs, often involving connecting with clients or customers through an online platform.
  • In a long-running legal battle, Uber had appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds.
  • The Supreme Court’s ruling that Uber has to consider its drivers “workers” from the time they log on to the app, until they log off is seen as a key point.

Uber drivers typically spend time waiting for people to book rides on the app. Previously, the firm had said that if drivers were found to be workers, then it would only count the time during journeys when a passenger is in the car.

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