Nigeria ratifies WTO agreement

Timothy Choji, Abuja

The Federal Executive Council FEC, on Wednesday, approved Nigeria’s ratification of an agreement by the World Trade Organization, WTO.

The ratification seeks to ease the cost of trade, especially for developing countries like Nigeria, which stand to benefit a lot from the agreement.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, revealed this while briefing newsmen, after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council,FEC.

Addressing State House correspondents, after the FEC meeting, Dr.Enelamah, said “we got approval from the Federal Executive Council for the ratification of the WTO trade facilitation agreement.Basically this is an agreement that was approved by all the member countries of WTO at the ministerial conference that was held in 2013.”

He added that “everybody benefits from lowering the cost of doing trade. It’s particularly beneficial for developing countries that want to access international market and that agreement seeks to lower this cost and Nigeria was one of the countries that approved the agreement then, and we have been going through a process to ratify the agreement.”

“The idea is that the agreement comes into effect when it’s ratified by two-thirds of all the countries that approved it originally and we think that will happen sometimes this year. Given the importance of trade to Nigeria and our standing, we are therefore very happy that the Federal Executive Council today approved the ratification,” the Minister explained.

The Minister announce that Nigeria will adopt specific strategies in dealing with the European Union, to promote Nigerian products and ensure the EU lifts its ban on the exportation of products like beans to Europe.

“In dealing with the EU, Nigeria needs particular and specific strategies, for making sure they accept our products and to ensure that we are not just a country that exports raw materials and receive finished goods,” he said.

He said trade between Nigeria and the rest of the world would be strengthened, to maximise the benefits.