WTO DG Seek Removal Of Barriers Affecting Nigerian Manufacturers 

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Yemisi Izuora

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has called for a clear understanding of barriers hindering effectiveness of manufacturers in Nigeria so as to make their products competitive.

Okonjo-Iweala, identified trade as integral part of manufacturing And as a result they need better access to imports as well as competitive logistics and other services critical to international competitiveness, as she addressed a meeting organised by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Abuja.

Also, part of the manufacturers problem was traced to inadequate electricity supply.

According to the President of the African Development Bank Group, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, poor electricity supply in Nigeria is negatively affecting the growth of Nigerian industries.

Adesina, Who was also at the meeting stated that lack of electricity in Nigeria, is hindering business activities in the manufacturing sector, as no business can survive without adequate power supply.

He said that “Unless Nigeria decisively tackles its energy deficiency and reliability, its industries will always remain uncompetitive.”

On her part the WTO DG, said that trade was a key part in the global economy recovery and called for more support for micro, small and medium enterprises.

“Poor countries need access to bigger markets to grow rapidly,” she said, adding, With trade projected to grow at 10.8 per cent this year, more than twice as fast as GDP, external demand will far outpace domestic demand for many countries, especially those on the wrong end of the k-shaped recovery.”

Continuing Okonjo-Iweala, said, “Digital is very important here, especially for young Africans and the businesses they create; many businesses have been able to weather the pandemic because they were able to access the Internet and sell online.

“We should work harder, first to understand the barriers facing micro, medium and small enterprises in global trade and then to lower these barriers

“At the WTO, different groups of members are seeking to do just that. One group is working on an e-commerce agreement. Another is working on empowering MSMEs to trade; and a third is working on lowering barriers facing women in global economic trade.”

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