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Okonjo-Iweala says Nigeria’s global, African trade contribution poor

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said Nigeria should improve its trade contribution globally and in Africa.

She said Nigeria held a small fraction which is below the country’s capacity.

She stated that Nigeria’s global trade contribution is 0.33 percent, while the country accounts for 19 percent in Africa’s economy. Okonjo-Iweala said the African quota is lower than Nigeria’s gross domestic product.

“Nigeria’s share in world trade is 0.33 per cent, this is a small fraction of what we could do. Our share in Africa’s trade is 19 percent, which is below our share of Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP). This means we can turn it around.

“This means that we must step up our action on the economy, we must do better and harder in several ways because of our youth who are waiting for jobs. Nigeria needs to focus on adding value on transitioning.

“We are an oil and gas-based economy; and that has sustained us and still will. But the world is moving away from fossil fuel.” NAN quoted Okonjo-Iweala who said this on Monday, during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

Read also: Okonjo-Iweala thanks Buhari, Nigerian youths for support during WTO’s race

The WTO DG said job creation is the solution, however, Nigeria’s unemployment rate keeps rising, with the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosing on Monday that unemployment rose 33 percent as of December 2020. The statistic agency stated that 23 million Nigerians are unemployed.

In his reaction to the statement, Adebayo said Nigeria needs more targeted technical assistance from the WTO in order to overcome its capacity difficulties which has affected the country’s contribution to global trade.

“I also wish to draw your attention to our capacity difficulties which continue to undermine our effective participation in the multilateral trading system.

“While we acknowledge with thanks the capacity-building efforts of WTO around training officers on international trade governance, the need for more targeted technical assistance from the WTO cannot be overemphasised.”

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