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WTO DG: I am honoured, says Okonjo-Iweala, on selection

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  • Buhari, Atiku, others congratulate Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first female director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), says she is honoured to have been selected as the one to lead the WTO.

“I am honoured to have been selected by WTO members as WTO Director-General,” Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday afternoon.

“A strong WTO is vital if we are to recover fully and rapidly from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to working with members to shape and implement the policy responses we need to get the global economy going again.

“Our organization faces a great many challenges but working together we can collectively make the WTO stronger, more agile and better adapted to the realities of today.”

Okonjo-Iweala was appointed the DG on Monday after months of uncertainty at the trade body.

The WTO thanked the former minister for her graciousness and patience through the selection process.

“This is a very significant moment for the WTO. On behalf of the General Council, I extend our warmest congratulations to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as the WTO’s next Director-General and formally welcome her to this General Council meeting,” said David Walker, the General Council chair, said.

“Dr Ngozi, on behalf of all members I wish to sincerely thank you for your graciousness in these exceptional months, and for your patience.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with you, Dr Ngozi, and I am certain that all members will work with you constructively during your tenure as Director-General to shape the future of this organization,” he added.

Walker, who is from New Zealand worked together with co-facilitators Dacio Castillo (Honduras) and Harald Aspelund (Iceland) through the nine-month DG selection process.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with Okonjo-Iweala, on her selection as WTO DG, bringing joy and more honour to the country.

The President says her track record of integrity, diligence and passion for development will continue to yield positive results and rewards to mankind.

Buhari affirmed that Okonjo-Iweala, who over the years set major records of economic reforms in Nigeria as Minister of Finance, and later Minister of Foreign Affairs, would excel in her new position and validate the global mandate of repositioning and strengthening the multilateral institution for the greater good of all.

The President joined family, friends and colleagues in wishing Dr Okonjo-Iweala well in her new endeavour.

 

Atiku Abubakar

Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is a woman I know very well, because we worked at close quarters between 2003 and 2007, when she served in our administration in various capacities, most notably as finance minister.

It is not hyperbole when I say that no one could be more qualified for the job of Director General of the World Trade Organisation than her, and I congratulate her for her success at being the first female and African DG of the WTO.

She is an apostle of free trade and an astute manager of people and resources, and the world will be a much more prosperous place by her elevation to this enviable height.

As the world prepares to emerge from the global pandemic of COVID19, the planet needs a steady hand at the wheel, to drive global trade, and rebuild from the devastation wrought by the virus. We would not need someone who thinks they can pull this off. We would need someone who has actually and serially pulled it off before. And that person has emerged.

Ngozi, Africa and Nigeria are proud of you and my family and I are full of joy at your victory. Go to Geneva and make us proud, as we know you will.

Congratulations once again and may God bless your tenure.

 

President, European Central Bank – Christine Lagarde

Congratulations to my friend Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on becoming the first female Director-General of the @wto.

I’ve known Ngozi for many years. Her strong will and determination will drive her to tirelessly promote free trade to the benefit of people worldwide.

 

 

As she prepares to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO), I congratulate Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her emergence as the next Director General.

I wish @NOIweala all the best in this new assignment, and hope that her tenure at the helm of the WTO helps to address some of the barriers that limit trade in Africa and other developing countries.

Bukola Saraki

I heartily rejoice with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her emergence as the first African and first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

I also congratulate Nigeria on the latest feat of its great daughter on the international stage and applaud President Muhammadu Buhari, whose unwavering commitment contributed to the acknowledgement of the sterling credentials of her and her ultimate triumph for the position.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan

With her latest feat, the former Nigerian Minister of Finance and Managing Director of the World Bank has again brought honour to Nigeria, Africa and women everywhere.

I pray for Almighty God to imbue her with good health and wisdom to succeed in the task just as I urge her to deploy her famed intellect, experience, energy and integrity in leading the WTO to promote global prosperity through fair trade.

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

On behalf of all Deltans, I join all Nigerians in congratulating one of our most renowned citizens, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, on her emergence as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Over the years, we have all followed your growth and celebrated your noteworthy achievements. This is why, as you begin your new role at the helm of the WTO, I want you to know that you have the unwavering support of both your home state and your country!

Peter Obi

Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala @NOIweala has always been a shinning star, not just in our country Nigeria, but across the world where her leadership impact has been felt.

Her appointment for this lofty position as DG @WTO has not come as a surprise to those of us who know her well. I am definitely sure she will perform creditably in her new assignment.

PDP

The party describes her emergence as victory for competence, global due process and consensus needed to pilot the activities of the world trade body, especially at this critical period in the history of the world’s economy.

The @OfficialPDPNig notes that the development has again brought honour to our nation adding that it is proud of Okonjo-Iweala as a product of the PDP administration, whose excellence as Nigeria’s minister of finance, under whom Nigeria achieved our debt relief and revamped to become one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

 

The party also recalled Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s success as the Managing Director of the World Bank, where she also displayed her capacity to effectively handle global economy’s issues.

The @OfficialPDPNig commends international stakeholders, including President @JoeBiden-led United States Government for the strong support given to Okonjo-Iweala, which points to the commitment of all stakeholders towards global consensus and economic recovery.

The @OfficialPDPNig restates its charge to the new @wto Director General to redouble her effort in bringing to bear her wealth of experience and competence to the world body.

Reps Minority Caucus: Appointment reinforces global confidence in her

Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has congratulated former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over her final confirmation as the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The caucus in a statement by the Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, on Monday, observed that the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as DG of the world trade body in spite of all the opposing huddles, “has reinforced global confidence in her competence and proficiency to head the world body”.

He said, “Indeed, the election of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala to head the WTO is well-deserving, given her huge experience, competence, commitment and track record of performance in global finance and economy as evinced in her successes as Nigeria’s minister of finance, Managing Director of the World Bank and various other international development bodies.

“We commend the global community for having confidence in Dr. Okonjo Iweala and particularly, the United States President, His Excellency Joe Biden, for the unwavering support given to her by his administration, which is clearly in recognition of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s competence.

“In the same vein our caucus commends the understanding and spirit of sportsmanship exhibited by the South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee in withdrawing from the race; another loud testament to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s suitability for the task ahead.”

The lawmakers charged Dr. Okonjo Iweala to, as usual, hit the ground running and bring to bear her skills, connections and wealth of experience in the onerous task of leading the WTO at this trying period in the history of global economy.

The caucus however urged the new WTO DG to have a special focus on Africa and the developing world, particularly at this time of economic recession, which has been worsened by the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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Land Rover to expand Defender with eight-seater 130, showstopper models  

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Land Rover is preparing to expand the Defender lineup, turning it into a family of vehicles similar to what it did with the Range Rover nameplate.

The expansion will specifically cover a long-wheelbase variant, an eight-seater 130, due next year to a posh, six-figure model in 2025, caranddriver.com reports.

According to a report from Autocar, the first variant to arrive will be the 130, an extended-wheelbase version with eight seats and it is due in 2022.

An opulent range-topper is also expected by 2025, and will ride on the MLA platform that will also underpin the next generation Range Rover.

Land Rover already sells multiple versions of the Defender—the stubby but charming two-door 90, the standard four-door 110, and the burly supercharged V8 model.

The 130 should be at least 10 inches longer than the 110, with most of that length added to the rear overhang.

The Defender 130 is expected to only come in higher trim levels and should feature both the six and eight-cylinder engine options.

The US and China will be the stretched Defender’s primary markets, says the report.

The fancier model coming in 2025 will be based on the MLA platform that will underpin the next Range Rover. The MLA platform will support combustion engines, plug-in-hybrid setups, and electric powertrains, and will also form the basis for the next Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery.

This would make a Defender EV possible, but the Range Rover and Velar are expected to have priority for all-electric versions.

The high-end Defender’s interior will be the major distinction, and Autocar says it will feature more vibrant colours and upscale materials.

Although the powertrain landscape will have shifted even further towards EVs by 2025, the luxe-Defender will likely still be powered by the six-cylinder engine.

A plug-in hybrid is also currently sold in Europe, and an evolution of this setup could come to the US as well.

An entry-level Defender 80 had also been rumoured to debut by 2025. It would have been based on the EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) platform, but Autocar reports that this model has been cancelled. That platform will be found in the next Evoque and Discovery Sport, but Land Rover has apparently decided to not move the Defender name down market, as a baby Defender likely wouldn’t have the higher profit margins that should make the 130 and luxury Defender worth the investment.

 

 

 

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