BREAKING: Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala Emerges First Female DG Of WTO

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, has emerged the first African and the first female to attain the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

She became the finalist after eliminating South Korea’s current Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee in a fierce battle for the coveted job on Monday night.

Reports say that influential nations within the global power bloc had a rigorous time to working in Nigeria’s favour with high-level negotiations even as China reportedly tilted the dynamics.

The New Diplomat Europe’s outpost office gathered that with the EU nations and the United States moving in the opposite direction, a move that triggered a deadlock between the two powerful geopolitical allies for the first time in many years, it was the decisive and quiet support of China that finally tipped the scales in Okonjo-Iweala’s favour.

A top diplomat in Geneva told The New Diplomat in confidence: “China quietly changed the game. They said nothing openly but silently they, deftly China voted in Nigeria’s favour.”

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, served as Nigeria’s first female finance and later foreign minister, and has a 25-year career behind her as a development economist and international finance expert at the World Bank, eventually becoming its number two. She is also on Twitter’s board of directors and is a special envoy for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 fight.

Thus, Okonjo-Iweala has successfully edged out South Korea’s Myung-hee. Yoo Myung-hee 53, is the serving South Korea’s trade minister, following a long career in trade, diplomacy, law and foreign affairs. She had previously served as South Korea’s foreign Affairs minister, among others.

A lawyer and diplomat, Myung-hee holds degrees in Law, Public Policy and was called to the New York Bar.

Burning of Nnamdi Azikiwe’s statue, disrespectful – Ohanaeze youths

The youth wing of the apex Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has said that the organization believed in the indivisibility of Nigeria, insisting that it would not be part of any agenda that would bring disunity in the country.
In a statement yesterday, the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths worldwide, Ambassador Arthur Obiora argued that the greatness of Nigeria could only be realised when all sections of the country worked together as one people.

While urging youths across the country to desist from making utterances capable of plunging Nigeria in chaos, Obiora also commended the various state governments for setting up judicial panels to investigate the ongoing #endSARS protests and called for the inclusion of youths as members of such panels.

The statement read: “We, the young people of the Igbo – speaking area under the auspices of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide, wish to use this medium to call for calm and restoration of law and order in the country .

“We state categorically that we are in total support of the #EndSARS protest and demand an end to police brutality, extortion, torture and killing of innocent citizens, especially young persons by different units of the police force, with special emphasis on SARS.

“There are numerous cases of our people who have fallen victims to police brutality and for that reason, we commend the initiators of the protests for providing an opportunity for young people to express their grievances concerning such acts.

“We also commend Mr. President and the Federal Government for accepting and granting the demands of the young people during the protests.

“The fact that none of the 5 points was neither dropped, nor amended clearly shows that for once, young people have collectively gotten the government to listen to our sincere agitations on an issue

“We also commend the state governments that have already set up their judicial panels of inquiry as part of the demands of the #EndSARS protests and call on others to do same so that the panels can get to work and deliver on the directive of the Federal Government.

“We commiserate with our brothers and sisters of South West extraction for the great loss suffered, most especially in Lagos State.

” Similarly, we commiserate with the families of those who lost their lives and all the state governments that have suffered great economic losses due to the massive vandalism and looting that took place these past couple of days and pray that peace is restored so that rebuilding and restoration will commence immediately.

“We also commend our brothers and sisters in the Northern part of the country who resisted all forms of provocation instigated by traitors who do not mean well for our country.

“We acknowledge that as one people, with a common goal and destiny, our greatness will only be realized when we work together.

“Ohanaeze calls on every young person to desist from acts and utterances that are aimed at plunging this country into chaos as we will not allow anyone derail this country on its course to greatness.”

Ohanaeze youths regretted the burning down of the statue of the first president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in Onitsha, adding that the action did not show respect to the Igbo nation.

According to Ohanaeze, those who desecrated Zik’s statue would not go unpunished.

Fuel queues to fade out in days ― Stakeholders

Nigerians have been urged to resist the urge to engage in panic buying of petroleum products due to the current fuel scarcity of products in some of the distribution outlets across the country which was occasioned by the recent rally by youths across the country to demand an end to police brutality.

Critical stakeholders in the petroleum sector who spoke with Vanguard in Abuja, however, advised car-owners to resist the idea of panic buying because of the sudden appearance of long queues at some of the fuel stations that are dispensing the Premium Motor Spirit.

Chairman Board of Directors, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdulkadir Aminu, in his response has predicted that the scarcity would not last for more than another five days.

According to him, “I am not surprised to see the queues on Monday in Abuja and some other states where it was reported because of obvious reasons.

“As we can recall, the events of the recent times had disrupted a lot of things in the country, and one of the immediate natural outcomes of the recent rallies across the country is the scarcity of products at distribution outlets across the country.

“It is not due to unavailability of the products or artificial scarcity by marketers of the products because there is no valid reason to do anything like that by patriotic businessmen and women who are doing their bit to contribute to nation-building,” Alhaji Aminu said.

When asked why it had dragged to its third day, Alhaji Aminu, who also doubles as the Executive Director, NIPCO PLC, said though it was expected, it is a development that will soon fade away just as it had sneaked in on Nigerians.

In his words, “We saw the number of days the agitations lasted in different parts of the country and how many days the entire mayhem took before normalcy returned to the country.

“We are working with the events across the country and as a critical stakeholder in the sector, I can assure you that between three to five days, all things being equal, products would be available in distribution outlets in all of the places where people used to buy products.

“As marketers are loading from the coastal loading points, the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) is also loading; marketers from Suleja to supplement the coastal loading and bridging.

“Therefore, we have enough products in all our retail outlets and the people in charge of the distribution are working round the clock to make products available for everyone that needs them everywhere across the country.

“We can also see that most of those on the long queues at the fuel stations are going with containers to buy products and store them for use, I want to beg such people to resist the urge to buy products because they are afraid of fuel scarcity for a long period.

“They should remember all the dangers of unwholesome storing of products and resist the urge to buy because of panic as things will soon return to as they used to be before the nationwide unrests” he stressed.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman, also corroborated the Chairman Board of Trustees. According to him, “there is no scarcity of products.

“In fact, this is one of the periods that we have enough products in tank farms and sooner than later, the long queues will fade away the way they appeared suddenly in many parts of the country.

“Already, some marketers have been advised to sell a ration that is not more than thirty litres to every car that gets to the station to buy fuel.

“If you observed, the scarcity was not only petrol, marketers did not take delivery of even kerosene and diesel for many days now. So, as they run out of stocks, they close their gates to customers.

“It is also true that many of the marketers have closed their businesses to prevent the wave of looting of public and private establishments by some angry youths across the country.

“I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to youths across the country to desist from the looting of businesses, especially petroleum distribution outlets because many of these outlets have some tenants who run supermarkets within the premises of their distribution outlets,” Suleiman said.

Long queues resurfaced in Abuja the nation’s capital ‘as well as some states in the northern part of the country on Monday and the length of the queues increased on Tuesday evening as many outlets visited by Vanguard around the Federal Capital Territory did not have products to dispense to motorists.

On Wednesday when Vanguard went around the city, many of the outlets that had long queues already locked their gates to motorists because they had already run out of stock.

As on Wednesday morning, commuters who used public transportation were already feeling the effect of the scarcity because there was a visible reduction in the number of taxis to transport passengers from bus stops.

Therefore, passengers spent more time at bus stops and had to pay a bit more for the available space which was without any regard for the COVID-19 protocol as many passengers were seen without face masks while the loading pattern was done without social distancing.