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Govt Presents Request List To WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala

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World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okojo-Iweala’s visit to the State House, Abuja on Monday provided Nigeria an opportunity to present to her a request list.

Top on the list is that Nigeria wants Ngozi Okojo-Iweala to support the nation’s push for the country’s gas to be classified as transition energy.

Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed who made the request said that Nigeria was advocating ” transition energy because it is true now that the issue of climate change is upon us.”

Ahmed noted that “our gas emission in Nigeria is very minimal compared to global emissions. We have these assets and we have not tapped them to aid our development.”

She pleaded that “we want you to support us and we have it on our agenda in COP 26 to campaign for gas to be classified as transition energy even if it’s for a limited period of 20 years.”

Nigeria, the finance minister said “also wants the WTO to support us in looking at how Nigeria can leverage on bio-economic resources.”

According to Ahmed, “it is not new we have been too dependent on fossil fuel and crude contributes significantly to the extent that whichever way the market swings to, that’s the situation we will find ourselves and it is unhealthy.”

Nigeria is also asking for help from the WTO “to help facilitate trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and enhance the ease of doing business, strengthen manufacturing, and also get women involved and support Nigeria in driving economic inclusive growth by paying special attention to the contributions of women.”

Responding, Okojo-Iweala said her “visit is to see how WTO can support Nigeria and improve her ability to trade.”

To support Nigeria’s trade, she noted, had become imperative giving that “Nigeria’s share of world trade is 0.33 percent and then in logistics of trade we are 103 out of 167 and generally 19 percent of African trade.”

While promising to help Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala said she considered Nigeria’s poor figures regarding trade as “a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the AfCFTA and be able to expand and one of the objectives is to see how the WTO can help and add value to our primary products especially within Africa.”

According to her, “Nigeria is one of the biggest producers of Sesame seeds and shea butter in the world but we have been barred from the market of Europe and the US for quality issues so we couldn’t export”.

However, the WTO she said had “come up with the International Trade Centre and established cooperatives for goods to penetrate more markets and it has ordered 200metric tonnes of shea butter and later 500metric tonnes both of which have had positive impact”.

Okonjo-Iweala stated that there was a “joint statement initiative at the WTO to see what rules that could underpin trade for MSMEs and women in trade ” because we believe reaching them will make a difference in regional and global value chain since most of the population is in informal sectors.”

With regards to Nigeria’s advocacy for transition energy, the WTO Director General noted that the world is fast moving to renewable energy.

According to her, “in the area of transition to renewable energy, the world is moving in the direction of renewables, we have to advocate and migrate to other types of activities. Nigeria must think fast on how to join the movement and I support the minister in transiting from fossil foil but we must advocate and be willing to migrate”.

Okonjo-Iweala noted that Nigeria has “a diversified economy that can actually benefit us if we invest in it, not just in goods, or agriculture, but also services”.

Nigeria she said has “young people doing great in fintech and technology and the WTO is developing rules to underpin e-commerce in a fair and balanced way and also train people to access e-commerce”.

“E-commerce is crucial especially with the pandemic and the WTO negotiates rules to make everyone access e-commerce,” she said.

Going forward, the WTO she said hopes “to work with international banks to improve world trade. We will work with World bank, IMF, AFDB and Afreximbank”.

“I have stated that Nigeria is 103 out of 167 in logistics of trade, so if we are thinking of how we can improve trade, we must also think of how we can improve logistics from transport to other logistics. However, e-commerce must come with regulations and Nigeria is the leading light”.

READ ALSO: Police Deploy Zamfara DPO Allegedly Conniving With Bandits

The WTO she said can assist Nigeria “specifically and we have joined with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Afexim bank to facilitate trade. We are also partnering IFC for women in finance programme with a discount.”

Before ending her speech, Ngozi Okojo-Iweala revealed how the Nigerian government did everything to support her emergence as Director General of the WTO.

She said the federal government through the minister of finance cleared Nigeria’s arrears at the WTO for 2019 and 2020 even before the year ran out as well as paid advance for 2021.

This gesture she said cleared the way for her because it showed Nigeria as a true continental leader that does not joke with its obligations.

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BREAKING: Peter Obi’s Supporters Lock Down Lagos

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PHOTOS: Massive Turnout As Youths Embark On One Million Match For Peter Obi

From Lekki to Surulere and Festac, thousands of residents of Lagos on Saturday demonstrated their support for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP).

Many of the supporters on Saturday morning were seen holding the posters of the LP candidate and his vice, Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, who had branded vests as they marched around and moved to the bridge leading.

The rally caused both human and vehicular traffic around the Stadium axis, from Alaka and Teslim Balogun Stadium and down to Ojuelegba.

READ ALSO: Exposed: The Real Peter Obi

A Third Force Movement appealed to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to approve the car park of the National Stadium Lagos, for the October 1 rally of supporters of Labour Party, LP, Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

Noting that the use of the stadium would avert unintended lockdown, The Third Force Movement, in a statement by Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, said without the approval the organisers cannot stop Nigerians from using other venues like Gani Fawehinmi Park or Lekki Toll Gate.

At Lekki Toll Gate, the Lagos State Police Command was able to enforce strict compliance with the no rally order.

A federal high court in Lagos had on Wednesday ordered the LP and its supporters not to converge on the Lekki tollgate

 

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BREAKING: APC Disagrees With Lawan , To Appeal Against Judgment Declaring Machina Senatorial Candidate

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BREAKING: APC Disagrees With Lawan , To Appeal Against Judgment Declaring Machina Senatorial Candidate

Less than 24 hours after Senate President Ahmed Lawan declared that he would not appeal against the ruling of a Federal High Court in Damaturu, the state capital, on Wednesday on the Yobe North senatorial seat matter, his All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided otherwise..

The APC in the state is determined to go on appeal over the matter.

The lower court had in its verdict, not only affirmed Bashir Machina as the party’s candidate for next year’s election, but ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise him as such, a position the nation’s number three man said he would not appeal against.

However, in another turn of events, Mohammed Gadaka, Chairman of the APC in the state, arguing that the party had taken it as a duty to protect the Senate President, indicated party’s intention to proceed to the appellate court.

READ  ALSO: I Won’t Appeal Against Judgment Declaring Machina Senatorial Candidate – Lawan

“We are aware of the Wednesday, September 28, 2022, ruling of the Federal High Court in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, with respect to the forthcoming Yobe north Senatorial District election. However, we respectfully reject the decision of the President of the Senate, His Excellency Senator Ahmad Lawan, accepting the judgment of the court which disqualified his candidature and participation in the election.

“In exercise of our legal rights, the Yobe State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has decided to appeal the Federal High Court ruling in the interest of Yobe State, Nigeria and good governance. We have a duty to protect and sustain Senator Ahmed Lawan’s twenty-three years exemplary sojourn as a lawmaker and his impeccable record of leadership and patriotism – and commitment to making Nigeria work.”

 

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Advocacy For Alleged Witches Petitions NHRC Over Witchcraft Markets Event

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Advocacy For Alleged Witches Petitions NHRC Over Witchcraft Markets Event

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches has written a petition to the Cross River State chapter of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over a planned event to rescue families from witchcraft.

The petition titled “Petition: Ukpabio ‘s Rescuing Families from Witchcraft Markets Event” was signed by Dr.Leo Igwe.

The petition reads:
“I am writing on behalf of the Advocacy for Alleged Witches, an organization that campaigns to end witch persecution in Nigeria to lodge a complain about a proposed event, Rescuing Families from Witchcraft Markets, of Evangelist Helen Ukpabio and her Liberty Gospel Church. The event will be held on October 5 to 9 2022 in Calabar. As explained in this article, the event has some criminal intent and could fuel human rights abuses in Cross River state. Witchcraft accusation is a crime under the law. So it is important to restrain any individual or group, or stop any activity with the intent to accuse, or impute witchcraft as this proposed program by Ms Ukpabio and her church has indicated.

“As you may be aware, cases of witch persecution, attack and killings in Cross River have been linked to the activities of Ms Ukpabio and her church, and other witch hunters who openly advertise, stage and hold programs where they make witchcraft imputations (in this case in families), identify witches and exorcise witchcraft. Programs like this event on Rescuing Families from Witchcraft Markets valorize witchcraft beliefs, and incite people to suspect, maltreat, attack or kill family members in the name of witchcraft.

READ ALSO: Ukpabio’s Rescuing Families From Witchcraft Markets

“At a time when Cross River state is witnessing killings and attacks linked to witchcraft beliefs, it is necessary to take measures to prevent witchcraft accusations, witch identifications and persecutions. The Advocacy for Alleged Witches urges you to use your good office to restrain Ukpabio and her church from going ahead with this witch hunting event. ”

 

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