The Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Saturday arrived Nigeria on a five-day working visit, two weeks after she assumed leadership of the global body.
The visit, designed to enable her appreciate the support of the federal government for her emergence as DG of WTO.
She will hold discussions with President Muhammadu Buhari and other top players in the public and private sectors on how to leverage the WTO and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to improve trade and the economy.
The former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, arrived at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja via an Ethiopian airliner with registration number, ET 911which touched down at exactly 12pm.
She received by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo and other top officials of the ministry.
Okonjo-Iweala was accompanied on the visit from Geneva, Switzerland by some ambassadors, including those from the Republic of Barbados and Cameroon.
Shortly after airport formalities at the presidential wing of the airport, she was driven in a motorcade to her private residence in Abuja.
In a brief interview with journalists, the WTO DG said her visit was to see how to better leverage the WTO and AfCFTA to assist Nigeria and entrepreneurs to improve the economy.
She expressed optimism that Nigeria could use the AfCFTA to boost trade and investment.
“I am not going to give you all the points for the visit today; I know you want them. But what we are trying to do indeed is how to boost Nigeria’s share of trade in Africa.
“We hope to be able to use the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to improve our trade, and of course, to do that you have to improve our investment.
“We have to add value to some of our products. This continental free trade agreement is a unique opportunity for us to be able to engage commercially with other African nations and that will boost our exports. Then, when you boost exports, you will create more jobs.
“We are also going to talk about digital economy and how our young people are accessing the Internet for e-commerce. Those are some of the issues–what more can we do support more of that and generate more activities?”
” I will meet with His Excellency, the President; the Chief of Staff; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Minister of Finance; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Organised Private Sector as well as Micro, Small and Medium Entrrprises (MSMEs) and women entrepreneurs.
“I will like to meet with the women, and the whole objective is to see how the WTO can better assist Nigerian and Nigerian entrepreneurs with respect to improving the economy.’’
She will also meet with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele; the Presidential Task on COVID -19; Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chinwe Ihekweazu as well as captains of industries.