WTO Confirms Okonjo-Iweala As DG
It is official: Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been confirmed the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Okonjo-Iweala, the first African head of the WTO was confirmed today.
WTO members took the decision to appoint Okonjo-Iweala at a special meeting of the General Council, following a selection process that included eight candidates from around the world.
The WTO is the intergovernmental organization that is concerned with the regulation of international trade between nations.
In a congratulatory message, President of the European Council (EC), Charles Michel said Okonjo-Iweala could count on the full support of the European Union (EU).
“My warmest wishes to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala @NOIweala on your appointment as Director General of @wto. You bring a wealth of experience and expertise at a time when the WTO needs reform. Count on full support of the EU,” Michel tweeted.
Okonjo-Iweala prevailed over several other candidates in the months-long WTO leadership race, including South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung Hee, her main rival.
Okonjo-Iweala has said she will bring a fresh pair of eyes and ears to the WTO.
Okonjo-Iweala emerged victorious in the contest over Ms Yoo Myung-hee by a wide margin. She polled 104 votes from 164 member countries to defeat the South Korea’s trade minister at the final stage of the race.
The South Korea trade minister later stepped down paving the way for Okonjo-Iweala, whose today’s confirmation at a meeting of envoys from the 164 WTO member countries has been considered a mere formality.
The previous U.S. administration of President Donald Trump had tried to block Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment by opposing her.
However, Trump’s successor, Joe Biden last week threw his weight behind the woman, who previously served as Nigerian finance and foreign minister, and as the managing director of the World Bank.
Okonjo-Iweala is set to succeed the Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who left the WTO before the end of his term in August.
He has joined U.S. beverage giant Pepsico as an executive.
The leadership change comes as the WTO is in its deepest crisis since it was founded in 1995.
The WTO is no longer able to settle trade disputes between countries as the United States has blocked the appointment of appeals judges.
The Trump administration sought reforms of the WTO, without clearly spelling out its demands.
In addition, free trade talks have been stalled for years, and the WTO now also faces a global economic crisis.
Meanwhile, Okonjo-Iweala has said she will bring a fresh pair of eyes and ears to the WTO.
Her term starts on the 1st of March 2021.
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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