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WTO: 79 Countries Endorse Okonjo-Iweala’s Candidacy

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Agency Report

Nigeria ’s Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala voiced confidence on Friday in her quest to lead the crisis -wracked World Trade Organisation after all of Africa backed her candidacy , vowing she would champion reform .
“ I feel the wind behind my back , ” she told a virtual press briefing after the 55 -member African Union officially supported her over her sole remaining opponent , Yoo Myung -hee of South Korea .
Okonjo -Iweala said she was thrilled to learn that “ all African countries are getting behind me .”
According to her, a group of Caribbean and Pacific states had also said they would back her, bringing the number of countries officially endorsing her candidacy to 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO .
She also said she felt “ optimistic ” about her support in Latin America , and said she felt she had gotten “ very good traction and good support ” in Asia so far.
“ I feel quite confident that across the regions , we will be able to attract ” support , Okonjo -Iweala added while hinting that the European Union was due to announce its preference of the last two candidates “ soon” .
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, assured Okonjo -Iweala during her visit to Aso Villa in Abuja that he would do all within his powers to ensure she gets the job .
The global trade body is set to be led by a woman for the first time whichever of the two candidates is successful in their bid to follow Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down as WTO director -general in August a year ahead of schedule .
Okonjo -Iweala , 66 , who served as Nigeria ’s first female finance and foreign minister and has a 25 -year career behind her as a development economist at the World Bank , said it would be good if WTO could also boast its first African leader .
“ If that person is African and a woman , I think that is great . Because … neither an African nor a woman has led the organisation , ” she said.
But at a time when the WTO is engulfed by multiple crises, she stressed that the new chief must above all be highly skilled in political and diplomatic negotiations , as well as at the managerial level .
“ The WTO at this time with the challenges it confronts needs a very competent Director General who is able to have the political reach and stature to be able to do reforms and deal at very high levels .
“ It is not only having those skills but having them all meet in one person at this juncture when the WTO needs that ,” she said .
Even before the Covid- 19 crisis hit, the WTO was already grappling with stalled trade talks and struggling to curb tensions between the United States and China .
The global trade body has also faced relentless attacks from Washington , which has crippled the WTO dispute settlement appeal system and threatened to leave the organisation altogether .
Okonjo -Iweala said she had broad experience in championing reform and was the right person to help put the WTO back on track.
“ I am a reform candidate and I think the WTO needs the reform credentials and skills now . ”
The initial pool of eight candidates for the WTO ’s top post , which has been whittled down over two rounds of consultations , had included three Africans , and the AU had until now refrained from offering an official endorsement .
The third and final round of consultations seeking to establish consensus around one candidate is due to begin next week and end on October 27 , with the announcement due in early November .

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Petroleum: DPR Promise To Sustain Uninterrupted Product Supply 

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The Bauchi office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it will continue to ensure the availability of petroleum products across the 500 existing filling stations in the state.Malam Abdullahi Isyaku, the Operation’s Controller of the agency made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Monday.

Isyaku said the department would continue to closely monitor filling stations, especially on the implementation of safety measures by retail outlets.

He added that it would constantly ensure that outlets adhere to the official pump price of the commodity.

“We are determined and committed to sanctioning erring outlets found to be shortchanging consumers,’’ he said.

Isyaku said that the regulatory agency was fully committed to assisting interested marketers who want to venture into dealing with Liquefied Gas LPG in accordance with the Federal Government policy on Domestic Gas Utilisation.

According to him, the department has intensified efforts on routine surveillance of all existing retail outlets.

This is with a view to ensuring compliance with operational guidelines.

“We will not compromise standards,’’ He said.

The controller called on all registered marketers to key into the newly introduced operational monitoring tool called ‘Down Stream Remote Monitoring System’ (DRMS).

NAN reports that DRMS was recently launched by the national office of the department.

According to Isyaku, the device will assist DPR in online routine monitoring of stock positions of the products at both depots and retail outlets.

It will also help marketers to monitor activities in their filling stations.

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Leadway Assurance Charges Nigerians To Embrace Cyber Insurance

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Leadway Assurance Company Limited has charged corporate entities, institutions, religious organisations and individuals to embrace cyber insurance to protect their database and computer networks from attacks by hackers.

With increased online and internet connectivity becoming part of our day to day business, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, there is need for protection against cyber attacks, Mr. Uzodinma Ibe of the Casualty & Liability Underwriting, General Insurance, said.

He spoke at a virtual training workshop on “Understanding Cyber Insurance” organised by Leadway Assurance for insurance journalists recently.

Ibe said a comprehensive report by a United Kingdom (UK) cybersecurity company, confirmed that there was high traffic when it comes to information, transactions and data emanating from Nigeria into digital space, adding that the survey noted that 36 percent of Nigerian organisations suffered cyber attacks in the last 12 months.

He also stated that 64 percent of cyber attacks in Nigeria exploited misconfigurations on the organisation servers, pointing out that Nigeria has the highest data leakage in the world.

On business activities, social networking and governmental activities, he said the report has also identified where Nigeria as a digital hub is and to what extent are their cyber exposures.

In order to avoid cyber attacks on our computer networks, which sometimes resulted into data and financial losses, there is a need for enterprises, individuals, corporate organisations, to see it as a serious business and take up some form of cyber mitigating efforts in this regard.

According to him, “Here in Leadway, through our research, we have been able to identify a particular area of cyber exposure where corporate entities can find themselves and see how we can do proper risk management and provide specific insurance product that can help them mitigate such exposures through Cyber Risk Management Insurance which in some quarters called Cyber Liability Insurance and in some, Cyber Risk Management Insurance.

“We have been able to highlight that technology, social media and transactions over the internet (cyber platforms) play a key role in how most organisations conduct business and reach out to prospective customers today. These vehicles have gateways – platforms, integrations that cyber attackers often use.

From Leadway point of view, our Cyber Enterprise Risk Management Insurance Policies try to help any organisation mitigate risk exposure for a certain cost expenses involve with recovery after a cyber-related security breach or similar event.

On who is being indemnified or who is being provided cover, he explained that Leadway Cyber Insurance provides first-party coverage and third-party liability risk covers against cyber-attacks for organisations.

“First party which is the policyholder, the individual or that corporate entity that buys the insurance, such policy caters for private investigation expenses where there is some form of data compromise or breach to reach out to different customers to inform them of the breach.

“Third-party liability coverage indemnify companies for losses to others caused, for example, by errors and omissions, failure to safeguard data, or defamation; and other benefits including regular security-audit, post-incident public relations and investigative expenses, and criminal reward funds.

“Risks of this nature are typically excluded from traditional commercial general liability policies or at least are not specifically defined in traditional insurance products. Most people believe that only large-scale industries, such as banks only need cyber security insurance. However, any electronic information such as your name, email, contact number, financial records, medical records, payment information, government documentation, etc., stored in your personal devices can be easily and quickly hacked by a genius hacker,” he explained.

“Cyber-insurance is a specialty lines insurance product intended to protect businesses, and individuals providing services for such businesses, from Internet-based risks, and more generally from risks relating to information technology infrastructure, information privacy, information governance liability, and activities related thereto,” he pointed out.

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PENGASSAN Suspends Strike Over Chevron’s Agbami Oilfield Dispute

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Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, General-Secretary of PENGASSAN made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Yenagoa.

Okugbawa told NAN that the strike had been put on hold following a truce with company’s management on April 15. According to him, the leadership of PENGASSAN and management of CNL reached an agreement over the matter, making the proposed strike unnecessary.

Okugbawa said that the mediatory meeting by Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum with the leadership of the union scheduled for April 15 could not also hold because a truce had reached.

PENGASSAN had threatened to down tools and shutdown Agbami Offshore Oilfield over moves by Chevron to cut its workforce by 25 per cent.

The plan to lay off 600 workers was announced, in a statement, on Oct. 2, 2020 by Mr Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs.

Brikinn said the job cut was to reposition the oil firm for greater efficiency and competitiveness.

Agbami field, which has the capacity to produce 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), currently produces about 140,000 bpd according to industry data.

NAN

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