Good morning.

We are reporting on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s landmark achievement, a series of security meetings to deescalate violence across the country, and Nigeria’s continued hunt for COVID-19 vaccines.

Okonjo-Iweala Makes History

Nigeria’s ex-Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been confirmed by the World Trade Organisation as its next Director-General. The news sent Nigerians into a celebration frenzy. The word ‘Congratulations ma’ was high on Twitter’s trends list late Monday.

She becomes the first African and first woman to hold the WTO top job. This report examines how she did it.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said she was “honoured” to have been selected and was determined to make the WTO stronger as the world economy struggles to recover from a slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Accolades: President Muhammadu Buhari said he was confident she will excel in her new position. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and many others also had good things to say about the former World Bank Executive.

Quote: “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,” Atiku Abubakar said. “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.”

Perspective: “She is an institution builder,” Prof Ken Ife, a Development Economist, said on News @ 10. “Africa is going to benefit from her selection.”

A map of Oyo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

Northern Governors Converge In Oyo

As part of efforts to resolve last week’s ethnic clash at Shasha market in Ibadan, four Northern Governors – Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Abubakar Bello (Niger) – met with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, in Oyo state.

Governor Makinde is expected to inaugurate a judicial panel of inquiry into the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate deployment of police intervention and stabilisation forces to the state.

Dig Deeper: Former police chief, Fatai Owoseni, believes the Shasha market crisis is symbolic of deep-seated discontents that must be comprehensively addressed urgently.

Related: North-West Governors met with the Service Chiefs in Kaduna over the increasing insecurity in the zone and recent ethnic conflicts in the South-West.  Similar meetings are expected to take place with Governors from the other five zones that make up Nigeria.

Extra: The IGP has flagged off Operation Puff Adder 2, which is aimed at reinforcing the ongoing fight against banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, and other violent crimes across the country.

A laboratory technician holds a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines at the Bidafarma wholesale distribution cooperative in Santa Fe, on the outskirts of near Granada, on January 21, 2021. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP
A laboratory technician holds a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines at the Bidafarma wholesale distribution cooperative in Santa Fe, on the outskirts of near Granada, on January 21, 2021.

Hunt for Vaccines Continues

Nigeria is currently reviewing different COVID-19 vaccines for use in the country, the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, said on Monday.

The vaccines include China’s Sinopharm, Russia’s Sputnik V, and India’s Covishield. Covaxin, also manufactured in India, is being considered too.

“It is important to stress that all COVID-19 vaccines carry a certain amount of risk and any vaccines not approved by the Federal Ministry of Health through its Agencies cannot be used in Nigeria,” the Minister said.

It is not yet clear when Nigeria will receive its first batch of vaccines despite securing millions of doses via the WHO-backed Covax and an African Union initiative.

Globally, there is a shortage of vaccines as demand continues to spike. And since Nigeria doesn’t have the local capacity to manufacture the jabs, it will have no option but to wait.

Exclusive: The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, spoke to Ladi Akeredolu-Ale on how COVID-19 variants will affect the country’s fight against the pandemic.

NCDC: Nigeria reported 574 new cases and eight deaths from the virus on Monday, the disease control agency said.

Related: After new Ebola cases were reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea recently, Nigeria has been put on alert, Dr. Osagie said on Monday.

What else is happening?

Justice: An Imo High Court has nullified the impeachment of former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Jude Agbaso. He was impeached on March 28, during the Rochas Okorocha administration.

Akeredolu: The Ondo State Governor slammed his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed, for sympathizing with armed herdsmen. “How will a governor in this country today come out and say people should be allowed to carry arms when it is illegal?” Akeredolu queried.

Lekki Toll Gate: As it gears for a reopening of the facility, the Lekki Concession Company said there will be no immediate imposition of toll fees.

Port Harcourt: A man has been sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of a Jumia delivery agent in March 2017.

APC: Lai Mohammed has called for the cancellation of the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise, saying it is marred by irregularities.

China: The Asian giant last year overtook the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said on Monday.

Myanmar: Anti–coup protests have continued as military authorities restrict Internet access and deploy more troops to crackdown on dissent.

And that’s the briefing for this morning. See you tomorrow.

P.S: Obinwanne Okeke, the Forbes-endorsed millionaire, is set to be sentenced in a US court on Tuesday for multiple counts of wire fraud.

Source… Channelstv

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