WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala Visits Nigeria, Spotlights Importance Of Fisheries Subsidies, Local Vaccine Production
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Monday visited the Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment.
During the visit, her second visit to the ministry after she became WTO DG discussed the importance of trade relationships in Nigeria and Africa with a focus on fisheries subsidies and local vaccine production in the country.
According to her, fisheries subsidy is key to Nigeria. To ensure improved output, she said a revised draft agreement for new global rules aims to curb harmful fishing subsidies and curtail post-harvest losses.
On vaccine production, the W.T.O boss is seeking more support from local manufacturers to guard against imports of vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.
These issues were part of a broad discussion on how to improve trade and export while leveraging the opportunities the African continental free trade agreement offers.
Beyond improving trade ties in Nigeria and Africa, Dr Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO is also looking at soaring inflation rates.
In this regard, she says the WTO is taking measures to ensure that all restrictions on food flow to member countries are addressed.
Her visit comes barely a month after the WTO’s Council of Ministers meeting which was held in Geneva between June 12 to 17 with a major focus on improving trade, health, food security, and economic reforms which aim at building economic resilience globally.
She was received by the minister of State for Industries Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagum.
The minister promised to escalate the agreement reached at the council of ministers meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The agreements reached include one for the establishment of fisheries subsidies which is expected to check unregulated fishing practices in Nigerian waters, the development of fisheries development programs and the establishment of technical services in fisheries data collection.