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WTO: US backs Myung-Hee, Okonjo-Iweala gets EU nods



The United States of America might not be endorsing Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy to lead the World Trade Organisation, SaharaReporters has gathered.

This comes as a setback for Okonjo-Iweala despite obtaining American citizenship in 2019, thereby becoming a dual citizen of Nigeria and the US.

But the European Union has maintained its support for Okonjo-Iweala to become the Director-General of the WTO.

Experts now believe that the EU and the US, who have historically agreed on decisions like this, may clash over who get the WTO top job.

A top official privy to the candidacies race informed SaharaReporters that Okonjo-Iweala’s opponent, Yoo Myung-Hee of South Korea, has the upper hand to receive the backing of the United States.

While the backing is yet to be made official, the source affirmed that President of the US, Donald Trump, has said he will be backing a known person whom he has worked with.

The United States’ trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has worked with Myung-Hee and is believed to prefer her candidature.

Okonjo-Iweala is likely to also receive the endorsement of China, Brazil and Japan even though that is yet to happen.

The officials stated that the US would be officially announcing its preferred candidate on November 7, 2020.

Okonjo-Iweala, who is yet to be announced winner of WTO, contrary to reports in the social media, is promoting the multilateral trading system, which the WTO has always leaned on, while the Trump administration has favoured bilateral trades.

She also wants to see increased access to drugs and vaccines in developing countries.

In addition to promising to return global trade to its multilateral legacy, Myung-Hee is proposing to use her 30-year experience in trade and diplomacy to smoothen US-China relations.

There are 164-member countries in the WTO and a consensus candidate has to be chosen before an announcement can be made.

Founded in 1995 to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the WTO is the only global international organisation dealing with the rules of trade among nations.

Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

– SaharaReporters


We’re one family – Tinubu, seeks govs support to tackle poverty, insecurity



We’re one family – Tinubu, seeks govs support to tackle poverty, insecurity

President Bola Tinubu has called on all the 36 state governors to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling the menace of poverty in the country.

He said the level of impoverishment in the land was unacceptable.

Tinubu spoke on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during his first meeting with all the state governors.

He advised the political leaders to downplay their differences and jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people

“We can see the effects of poverty on the faces of our people. Poverty is not hereditary; it is from society. Our position is to eliminate poverty. Set aside partisan politics, we are here to deliberate about Nigeria and nation building,” he said.

President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family.

“We are a family occupying one house, and sleeping in different rooms. If we see it that way and push forward, we will get our people out of poverty. A determined mind is a fertile ground for delivering results,” he added.

The President said good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.

“Present in this room is our diversity in culture and politics, but we are one nation. The unity and stability of the country rest upon us.

“We are in a democracy and we have to nurture the democracy. It is a hard-earned system and not easy to manage. If anyone thinks it is easy, look at other nations that are over a hundred years in democracy.’’

President Tinubu told the governors that he would maintain an open-door policy.

The President said he was prepared to share ideas, strengthen institutions, and create bottom-up frameworks that will improve the livelihood of Nigerians.

“What do we do in the face of crushing poverty? What do we do with our development goals? We took the bull by the horns by removing the elephant in the room before the nation sinks.

“We need synergy to fight other vices like corruption. We are trying to get smugglers out of the way. How do we work together to galvanise the economy, and put resources in place? We must think and perform. After removing subsidy, there must be savings accruing to the Federation Account,” he stated.

Tinubu said the education sector must be improved as part of efforts to reduce poverty and penury.

Governors pledge support

The governors pledged their support for President Tinubu’s decision to end fuel subsidy payments in the country.

The state chief executives were led by the NGF Chairman and governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

They expressed happiness with the President’s subsidy-removal decision, all-inclusive leadership, and statesmanship.

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Former Anambra Senator dies in US at 63



Former Anambra Senator dies in US at 63

A former senator who represented Anambra Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Annie Okonkwo, is dead.

He died at the age of 63 in a United States hospital, where he had been receiving treatment.

Okonkwo represented Anambra Central in the Senate from 2007 to 2011 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

He also contested the governorship seat of Anambra State on a number of occasions.

He was said to have suffered cancer of the lungs but recovered.

It was however learnt that the ailment relapsed in April and he had been on life support until he passed on.

A message from the family announcing his death read, “The entire Okonkwo family of Iruebenebe village Ojoto announces the passing on to glory of High Chief Annie Okonkwo. Indeed, Ojoto has lost her political pillar.”

The deceased who was a foremost industrialist celebrated his 63rd birthday on May 23, 2023.


Former Anambra Senator dies in US at 63

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Senate passes bill to mandate teaching of sexual, gender-based violence in schools



Senate passes bill to mandate teaching of sexual, gender-based violence in schools

The Senate has passed a bill seeking to mandate authorities of secondary schools to include lessons on how to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in their curriculum for students.

The bill was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir, and titled “Mandatory Inclusion of Preventive Measures on Sexual and Gender Based Violence into the Curriculum of all levels of Secondary Schools in Nigeria Bill, 2023.”

It was passed at the plenary presided over by the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, on Wednesday.

Leading debate on the bill, Mr Gobir said compulsory inclusion of the SGBV in school curriculum will expose secondary students to dangers involved in committing the act.


He also said making such mandatory would curb the rising occurrence of SGBV and will further address child protection rights and related issues such as sexual violence, rape and harassment.

“It is cost-effective, timely and sustainable. Like it is said, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’ The bill, when enacted, will tackle the prevalent issues of the SGBV and will further address child protection rights and related issues such as sexual violence, rape and harassment.

“To reduce cases of the SGBV and its related offence, experts have mentioned that individuals, groups and systematic interventions should be implemented in schools and must include students, teachers, administrators and parents’ participation.

“This is one of the systematic approaches to tackling this issue by early intervention by catching them young with this enlightenment which will also put our children on their toes to detect the red flags and be on guard. This will also avail them the opportunity to referral pathways for reportage.

“The goal is to have at least 80 per cent of all the participating students achieving satisfactory knowledge within 12 months of the rollout to each cohort. When they learn, they will pass to their siblings, friends and generations. This is a more sustainable systematic approach to solving this problem.”

Senate passes bill to mandate teaching of sexual, gender-based violence in schools

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