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Okonjo-Iweala Urges WTO to elect a credible candidate for the position of Director-General


Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Wednesday in Geneva stressed the need for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to elect a credible candidate based on merit for the position of Director-General.

Okonjo-Iweala who is among the eight candidates vying for the position, stated this while answering questions from newsmen at a press conference held shortly after her presentation to the WTO General Council.

“Choosing a Director-General for WTO should be on merit. The best person should be chosen to lead an institution that’s having challenges.

“If it happens to be a woman, great. If it happens to be an African its also great. It should be based on merit,” she said while extolling the qualities which make her well suited for the job.

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“The WTO needs leadership and I’m someone with a strong managerial capability with the ability to forge consensus and reforms.

“These bundles of qualities in addition to my leadership quality is what I’m bringing to the WTO,” she added.

Okonjo-Iweala also spoke on various issues ranging from trade implication of COVID-19, challenges to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMSE) as well as e-commerce.

According to her, e-commerce and the digital economy are vital forms of trade, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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However, she said, there was a need to address the challenge of the digital divide in developing and least-developed nations – where infrastructure remained a major impediment to such a form of trade.

Similarly, she emphasized the need to strengthen MSMSE – a vital part of the global economy which was adversely affected by the pandemic.

In the same vein, the former finance minister, also said that in tackling COVID-19, if elected as director-general, she would ensure that vaccines are accessible to poorer countries.

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“When vaccines become available, there will be allocation criteria that will ensure that it’s accessible to all,” she said while noting that she will bring her experience as Chair of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance board to bear.

Other issues addressed by Okonjo-Iweala include fostering relations among member countries to rebuild trust in restoring consensus decision making- in other to strengthen the WTO.

Alongside Okonjo-Iweala are candidates from Mexico, Egypt, Moldova, Republic of Korea, Kenya, UK, and Saudi Arabia vying for the WTO Director-General position.

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Edo monarch endorses Ize-Iyamu (Photos)



Osagie Ize-Iyamu,

The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives’ Congress in the Edo state’s forthcoming election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, paid a courtesy visit to the Edo monarch today.

He was in the entourage of Adams Oshiomhole, the former governor of the state and immediate past chairman of APC.

Here are some photos from the event:

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Osagie Ize-Iyamu,

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Kaduna Assembly suspends ex-Deputy Speaker



Kaduna State House of Assembly

The Kaduna State House of Assembly has suspended three members from all activities of the house for nine months.

The Assembly also reprimanded five other members, who were directed to apologise to the assembly in writing and publish the apology in a national daily within a week.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the assembly decided plenary yesterday after the adoption of the report of the committee which investigated the fracas that occurred during its sitting on June 11.

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The committee, headed by Shehu Yunusa, had recommended the suspension and reprimand of the affected members following the Assembly’s Code of Conduct.

Those suspended were former deputy speaker representing Basawa constituency Mukhtar Isa-Hazo, Nuhu Goroh-Shadalafiya of Kagarko constituency and Yusuf Liman-Dahiru, Kakuri/Makera constituency.

They were suspended for causing disaffection amongst members and denigrating the office of the deputy speaker.

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We are not investigating Osinbajo – Reps



Osinbajo making a toast

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, on Tuesday, said it is not investigating the office of the Vice President or the person of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as erroneously insinuated in some quarters.

The Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke gave the clarification while addressing the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu.

Oke explained that the ongoing investigation was aimed at getting documentary evidence of the school feeding procurement under the National Social Investment Programme carried out by the Federal Ministry of Budget & National Planning.

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Since its implementation in 2016 until October 2019, the SIPs was domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, with VP Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as Chair of the Steering Committee that oversights the National Social Investment Office.

The NSIO provides standard delivery mechanisms, with objectivity, collaboration, synergy transparency, efficiency and pro-active monitoring in mind.

To assure of close collaboration and impact, focal persons from each State were nominated by the Governors, to supervise the State’s activities in relation to each of the four programmes.

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The Office of the Vice President has never been involved in financial transactions or the disbursement of funds for the SIPs.

The Ministry of Budget and National Planning was in charge of all matters regarding financing, budgeting, procurement and disbursement of funds allocated and released for the NSIPs.

He said:

“By our records, the office of the Vice President is responsible for policy formulation and monitoring of the National Social Investment Programme.

“Issue bothering on procurement was handled by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning which has now been merged with the Ministry of Finance.

“We have it on record that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning handled all issues of procurement from 2016 to September 2019 when the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was created.

“Our request is for the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to make available all relevant procurement records for the various items under the NSIP. Our investigation has nothing to do with the office of the Vice President but the Ministry.”

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