The World Trade Organization (WTO) has said that it would prioritise agricultural trade issues in Nigeria to help the country circumvent her economic difficulties and transit from an oil and gas-based economy.
Newly-elected Director-General of the WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made this known during a meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo in Abuja, on Monday.
The DG is currently on her first official visit to Nigeria, her country of birth, where she served as minister of finance and foreign minister respectively.
According to Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria can take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area and leverage on areas that the country is vast in.
These areas, she cited, included e-commerce, services domestic regulations, investment facilitation, micro small and medium enterprises, and women in trade.
She also pledged that the WTO would work as an economic institution with other financial institutions to support investments and technical assistance to grow Nigeria’s economy.
Okonjo-Iweala who noted that Nigeria’s share in world trade was 0.33 percent, which showed a small fraction of what the country is capable of, added that support from the WTO would include “quality upgrade” to unlock some bottlenecks confronting the country.
“Our share in Africa’s trade is 19 percent, which is below our share of Africa’s gross domestic product. This means we can turn it around… And that is the message I want to convey to the country.
“This means that we must step up our action on the economy, we must do better and harder in several ways because of our youths who are waiting for jobs,” she said.