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Africa News of Tuesday, 16 March 2021


Okonjo-Iweala meets Buhari, others during first official trip as WTO DG

Newly appointed Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala picked her native Nigeria for her first official trip since taking office on March 1.

She arrived in the country over the weekend and has since met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidency on Monday. She hailed the efforts of Buhari in ensuring that she became the first woman and African to become WTO DG.

She also met finance minister Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed at a separate meeting. At the meeting, she commended the Nigerian Government on the clearance of arrears owed the WTO and making payment in advance.

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, she stressed the need to embrace the digital economy to exit recession when she paid a visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Headquarters in Abuja.

The former finance minister who was received by a delegation led by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said Nigeria had enough resources and opportunities to exit the recession.

“I think we have what it takes in the country, particularly our young people to do the necessary which is to move forward as to how we are going to create jobs and move this economy in the direction that would support our youths in the future.

“There are opportunities that can be used in improving trade so that our economy can climb out of this pandemic recession that we are in faster than would have been the case,” she said.

According to the WTO boss, the country also needs to embrace trade remedies and a digital economy to help Nigerian industries.

“WTO has what we call trade remedies. Without banning things we can be able to protect our industries against dumping and cheap imports if we use those remedies. We can use those remedies as a tool to help our industries.

“Digital Economy has come to stay and people are doing well there. We need to support our young people to make use of the digital economy,” she explained.

She added that this is a big task before the country and conversations must start in that direction and also the creative industry should not be neglected as it creates more jobs for the youths, Channels TV reports.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in response said the local industry should be given the room to grow as it would create more job opportunities, given the rate of high unemployment

He also announced Nigeria is open to business in any part of the world.

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