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Economy & Politics

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala appointed as DG of World Trade Organisation

Months after her election, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has been formally announced as the DG of the WTO.

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Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

The official announcement was made by the global trade body via social media, as it tweeted, “BREAKING: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria is appointed as the next WTO Director-General. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala makes history as the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO. Her term starts on the 1st of March 2021.”

READ: What Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala plans to do as DG of WTO

66-year-old Okonjo-Iweala, by her appointment, becomes the first woman to ever lead the Switzerland-based institution and the first African citizen to take on the role.

President Muhammadu Buhari who has on a number of occasions shown his support for Okonjo-Iweala getting the role has taken to social media to felicitate with her.

In a statement released by the President’s media aide, Garba Shehu, the President said, “On behalf of the Federal Government and all Nigerians, President @MBuhari warmly felicitates with former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr @NOIweala on her election as Director General of the World Trade Organisation @wto, bringing joy and more honour to the country.”

READ: Nigeria’s foreign trade with US slumps as trade with China grows stronger

In case you missed it

READ: Okonjo-Iweala will validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the WTO – Buhari

What you should know

  • Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman to take on the Nigerian finance ministry (under President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan) and the foreign ministry.
  • She was also the first female to run for the World Bank presidency, where she spent 25 years.
  • 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.
  • Last December, Okonjo-Iweala was named the Forbes African of the Year, 2020.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. goodygoody

    February 15, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Well deserved. More power to your elbow as you do Nigeria proud. Wish you a spendid tenure.

  2. JOSIAH A. ILORI

    February 15, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    No doubt, the World Trade Organization has finally made her choice of Dr. Ngozi Okojo Iweala formal and the the world body has made a laudable choice of a remarkable, capable and committed woman to head the organization. Her choice, undoubtedly, will enhance the position of the organization. Going through the credentials of Ngozi, she is the most qualified of all prospects for the post. It is joyful that President Joe Biden has finally endorsed her candidacy. Ngozi will perform meritoriously and the world at large will benefit from her contribution. Conclusively, I congratulate Ngozi for her new appointment and wish her and her entire family the grace of God in all their endeavors.

  3. Dayo

    February 15, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Congratulations ma. we celebrate you

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Economy & Politics

Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors

The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.

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The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.

Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.

According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.

Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.

In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.

“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.

Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
  • Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
  • This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
  • They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.

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Economy & Politics

2020 budget performance: FG achieves 89% capital release in December 2020

The Minister of Finance has revealed that the FG achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to MDAs as of December 2020.

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that the Federal Government achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as of December 2020.

She said that the 89% capital funding for MDAs was achieved with the release of N1.74 trillion.

According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Ahmed at an interactive session with the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday, February 22, 2021.

She also revealed that the government had disbursed N118.37 billion for Covid-19 capital expenditure from the fund.

READ: Recession: Senate attributes recovery to it’s cordial relationship with Executive

What the Minister for Finance is saying

Ahmed said the Nigerian economy faced serious challenges in 2020, with the macroeconomic environment significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said this led to a 65% drop in projected net 2020 government revenues from the oil and gas sector, which adversely affected foreign exchange inflows into the economy.

On the delayed release of funds to implement the 2020 capital budget until March 31, the Minister said the complaint had decreased.

She said, “I think the complaint was earlier in the year when we were trying to transfer the balances. As far as I know, in the past three weeks, I haven’t heard any such complaints and we have been able to address them.

“But when we started the transfers, we couldn’t transfer to some agencies because of some limitations in the system, but we have since been able to transfer the capital component that is being utilised by the agencies budget to the system.

READ: Nigeria receives $9.68 billion capital inflows in 2020, lowest in 4 years

While pointing out that the implementation of the MDAs projects was tied to procurement processes and capacity of the MDA, Ahmed also said the extension of the 2020 capital budget implementation to March 31 had recorded 30% performance as at January.

However, Ahmed said that she expected that the extension would record 100% performance in March.

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Speaking during the interaction, the Senate’s Chief Whip, Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu, commended the Minister on the capital performance of the 2020 budget.

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READ: FG to reopen Kano and Port Harcourt airports for international flights

He said, “I want to commend the minister and her team because this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that by December 31, we are having 89% performance expenditure of the budget. It has never happened before; Last year was the very first.

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“The budget had been going 49%, 27%; this means from what the Senate President was asking, it means by March, we should be looking at implementing the budget 100%.’

Earlier, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the meeting was to get an update on the capital implementation of the 2020 budget given its extension for implementation by the national assembly to March 31.

What this means

  • The 89% capital release for the 2020 budget as of December 2020 is quite encouraging as it occurred despite the economic challenges and disruption caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • There seems to be an improved effort by the Federal Government at the budgeting process with the early passage of the 2021 budget and the implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget.

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