Insufficient structural change has made Nigeria more vulnerable – WTO boss

March 16, 2021
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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said the insufficient structural change has made Nigeria more vulnerable.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala noted this when she met with captains of industry in Abuja on Tuesday, adding that the vulnerability caused the fall of oil prices five years ago and now it must grapple with the impact of the Corona virus pandemic.

She said the looming transition to a low carbon global economy implies more changes ahead.

She advised Nigeria to focus on careful economic planning and management for economic growth.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria has strong economic advantages in Africa, including comparative advantage in exportable services.

On transition to renewable energy, the DG said Nigeria can still negotiate for two to three decades transition period during which “we can still use our petrol cars and ramp up capacity in renewable energy.”

The WTO boss said Africa imports over 90 per cent of its pharmaceuticals and urged captains of industry in Nigeria to invest in Pharmaceutical to be better positioned for the next pandemic.

Also, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, urged the WTO to help Nigeria to make sure African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) succeeds.

“One area you can help us has to do with the AfCFTA. We need a lot of support from the WTO to make sure that it works.

“Right now, the biggest challenge that we have is that the regional markets are not really working,” he said.

He said Nigeria needs to trade more with African countries to strengthen the economies of Africa and create jobs.

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