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Okonjo-Iweala to meet Buhari, pledges WTO’s assistance for economy


The Director-Generally of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, arrived in Nigeria on Saturday and pledged the support of her organisation for the growth of the country’s economy.

Okonjo-Iweala, who arrived at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, around noon, drove with her entourage straight to her home in Maitama, Abuja, where she spoke to journalists briefly.

The former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance said her working visit to Nigeria for the first time after resuming as WTO boss was to see how her organisation would also assist entrepreneurs across the country.

The former World Bank director, who assumed office as the DG of WTO on March 1, 2021, further stated that she would be meeting the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), other senior government officials and private sector players.

She said, “I will meet with the President, the Chief of Staff, ministers of Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor and the organised private sector, as well as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, aka MSMEs.

“I will like to meet with women entrepreneurs and the whole objective is to see how the WTO can better assist Nigeria and Nigerian entrepreneurs to improve the economy.”

She also stated that her organisation would work to see how Nigeria would adequately benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

She said, “We hope to be able to use the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to improve Nigeria’s trade. And to do that, we have to improve investments; we have to add value to some of our products.

“This AfCFTA is a unique opportunity for us to be able to engage commercially with the other nations in Africa and that will boost the exports.”

Okonjo-Iweala added, “And when you boost exports, you create more jobs. We are also going to talk about the digital economy and how our young people are accessing the Internet for e-commerce.”

ovu: Sunday, 14 March 2021 at 3/14/2021 09:46:00 am


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