By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been assured of the country’s full support in her quest to becoming the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
This assurance was given by President Muhammadu Buhari when the former Managing Director of the World Bank paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala made it to the final two for the job along with South Korea’s Minister for Trade, Mrs Yoo Myung-hee and the candidacy of the former received huge support of the European Union.
Today, the Nigerian visited President Buhari and she was assured that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she becomes the head of the trade body because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the world.
“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,” Mr Buhari said.
The President assured Dr Okonjo-Iweala that he will make more phone calls, and send letters to some world leaders for more support.
“I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,” the President told Dr Okonjo-Iweala.
In her remarks, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.
“I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed,” she said.
The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning, in particular, the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
She asked the President to “make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thank others for their support.”
“Mr President put a smile on my face,” she said, “I am very proud of the country,” he added.
University of Ibadan Elects Prof Adebowale as 13th VC
By Adedapo Adesanya
Professor Kayode Adebowale has emerged as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, on Thursday at the Senate Chambers in Ibadan.
He said the Joint Council-Senate Selection Board interviewed the eight candidates shortlisted and the Professor of Chemistry, who until his appointment was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), was preferred to head the 73-year-old university.
Mr Odigie-Oyegun said: “Two representatives of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education were in attendance.
“At the end of the very thorough, transparent and highly competitive exercise, Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale emerged as the best candidate for the position of Vice-Chancellor.
“The Governing Council, at its just-concluded meeting today considered the report of the Selection Board and approved the recommendation of the Board to appoint Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.”
Mr Odigie-Oyegun further said that the position of the VC became vacant on December 1, 2020.
In his acceptance speech, Prof Adebowale said that though, he was not the best among all the candidates, he was happy to have been appointed to the institution’s apex position and called for support from the entire university community for his administration.
The selection came almost a year after the process for the appointment of the 13th substantive vice-chancellor at the University of Ibadan was halted. Sixteen candidates had applied to lead the university.
However, the withdrawal of a former Dean, Faculty of Arts of the same institution, Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, had reduced the number to 15.
Following a screening exercise by the Governing Council of the university, the number of contestants was pruned to eight on Wednesday.
Those who scaled through the screening on Wednesday included the Acting VC, Professor Adebola Ekanola, Professors Yinka Aderinto; Adebowale; Ademowo and Babatunde Salako.
The process of appointing the 13th vice-chancellor of the university began afresh under the newly appointed Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council.
This was due to various allegations of malpractices by various factions within the university community under the former VC, Professor Idowu Olayinka.
The new race, which commenced in the second week of July 2021, came after the decision on the cancellation of the initial process of the VC race by the new Governing Council of the University.
The initial UI VC race, which started in May 2020, ended on November 23 with the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education, through the Nigerian Universities Commission (NCC), due to various crises that marred the election of members of the Senate representatives.
Senate Confirms Justice Baba-Yusuf as FCT Chief Judge
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the nomination of Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf as the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week transmitted a letter to the upper chamber of the National Assembly for the confirmation of Justice Baba-Yusuf for the position.
Mr Buhari had explained in the letter that the nomination of the respected legal practitioner was in accordance with the provision of Section 256(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian 1999, as amended.
At the Senate, the nomination of the judge was considered and approved following the recommendations of its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters headed by Mr Opeyemi Bamidele.
While presenting his report on Tuesday, Mr Bamidele said the judge met all the requirements expected of him.
Mr Baba-Yusuf has been holding the position in an acting capacity since August and is now recognized as the chief judge following the approval.
The development followed the resignation of Mr Salisu Garba as the chief judge of the FCT high court.
The Chief Judge is the highest judicial officer in the state and acts as a chief administrative officer as well as a spokesperson for the judicial branch.
The Chief Judge presides over oral arguments before the court and also has significant agenda-setting power over the court’s meetings.
FG to Deepen Job Creation in Green Economy
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The Federal Government of Nigeria has drawn attention to the vast provision of job opportunities in the green economy of the country.
It considered the sector’s provision of creating environmentally-friendly jobs in areas such as construction, renewable energy, afforestation, and waste management, which includes e-waste.
The Minister for Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, who mentioned this at the opening of the 6th Meeting of the National Employment Council, noted that the opportunities presented, especially to youths, in this sector have not been explored enough.
Speaking on the theme Creating Environmental Friendly (Green) Jobs, the Minister, represented by the Director, Employment and Wages, Mr John Nyamale, noted that the government was committed to the large-scale installation of mini-grids and solar home systems.
He said this will be effective in a minimum of five million households not currently on the grid as part of the government’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery plan titled Bouncing Back.
The Minister, in a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr Charles Akpan, said that the council will discuss extensively the activities of the federal ministries of Power and Environment, in evolving strategies and innovative ideas to create decent jobs in the green economy.
“This council has the responsibility of following up on the implementation of this plan and making useful recommendations that can deepen job creation in the green economy,” he explained, urging participants to be aware of the presentations from the critical ministries.
Mr Ngige also disclosed that the council would be informed on the implementation of the afforestation program and Nigeria’s Sovereign Green Bonds by the Federal Ministry of Environment.
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