The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on Monday pledged to provide the needed support for the successful implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TRA).
Mrs Mariam Katagum, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment made the pledge when the National Trade Facilitation Committee visited her in Abuja.
She said there was the need to engage heads of relevant agencies with a view to contributing their quota to ensure full implementation of the agreement.
Earlier, the Acting Chairman of the Committee, Mr Aliyu Abubakar said that full implementation of the agreement became imperative in view of the need for Nigeria to join other signatories to the agreement to simplify trade procedures.
According to Abubakar, all members of WTO will simplify their trade procedures and there will be reduction of tariff and non-tariff arrears which will give market access to our traders.
It will actually help us in terms of diversification of our economy.
This will also promote economic growth and development because Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators will be able to access foreign markets through the trade facilitation that simplifies processes and procedures.
So there is a window for our SMEs and our markets and there is also reduction in time of doing business.
Where ever you go, the length of time will be shortened so it will be better for you and you stand to gain from short time of doing business,’’ Abubakar said.
He further said that the publications on TFA portal would provide traders the needed information that would guide their operations.
If you go to our TSA portal, it is easier for you to get information to do a lot of trading.
We have implemented some parts of the agreement but we still need to do more because we have obligation to implement the whole of the agreement and the committee is working to implement all the agreement,’’ he said.
On her part, Alice Stephens, the Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank Group, said that the bank would provide support in three key areas to facilitate implementation of the agreement by Nigeria.
She listed effective risk management, capacity building among agencies saddled with border management and transparency as the areas the World Bank would provide support toward the implementation of the agreement.
Nigeria News Agency recalls that Nigeria ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement in 2017, making it the 107th World Trade Organisation member to do so.
Edited by: Ese E. Ekama
WTO leadership race: Okonjo-Iweala, 4 others advance to second round of election
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s candidate aspiring to the position of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has won the first run of elections and has àlong with four others advanced to the second phase..
The other contestants, who are from Kenya, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the UK, on Friday advanced to the next round of voting after six days of confidential consultation with members.
Amb. David Walker, Chair of the WTO General Council in a briefing on the outcome of the election told the Head of Delegation meeting that the entire organisation’s membership was committed and fully engaged in the consultation process.
“Throughout the six days of consultations it was clear to us that the entire membership is both committed to and fully engaged in this process.
“Members consider all the candidates highly qualified and respected individuals.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the dignified manner in which they, their delegations, and their governments have conducted themselves in this process.
“Their willingness to engage, especially at these challenging times, has been greatly appreciated, and the organisation is in their debt,” Walker said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the consultations, Walker alongside his co-facilitators in the election process, posed to each delegation one question: “What are your preferences?”
Members then submitted four preferences to the “troika” of ambassadors.
The facilitators are Amb. Dacio Castillo, Chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, and Amb. Harald Aspelund, chair of the Trade Policy Review Body.
The consultation process taken by facilitators has been set by guidelines established by the General Council in a 2002 decision.
Based on the guidelines, the key consideration in determining which candidate is best poised to achieve consensus is the “breadth of support” each candidate receives from the members.
Walker said that the second phase of the consultations would begin on Sept. 24 and end on Oct. 6.
“During this time, members will be asked in the confidential consultations to express two preferences.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Customs boss appoints 2 DCGs, 5 ACGs, moves 5 senior officers
Customs boss appoints 2 DCGs, 5 ACGs, moves 5 senior officers
Abuja, 17, 2020 The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has appointed two new Acting Deputy Comptrollers-General of Customs and five Acting Assistant Comptrollers -General of Customs following statutory retirement of some members of NCS management.
The Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr Joseph Attah, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
He added that other ACGs appointed were Hamza Gummi to head T&T, ACG Usman Dakingari in charge of Doctrine and Development.
The spokesman disclosed that the Customs boss also effected redeployment of five senior officers in the service.
According to him, Comptroller Hafiz Kalla is deployed to Kebbi from FATS (TS) and Comptroller Bello Jibo from Bauchi/Gombe to Seme Border Command.
Attah quoted CGC as describing the appointments and redeployments as parts of the strategic steps taken to consolidate and build on the gains of the ongoing reforms in the Service.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi https://nnn.ng/customs-boss-appoints-2-dcgs-5-acgs-moves-5-senior-officers/
United States not a fully developed country — Trump
President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States was not a fully developed country.
Trump stated this at a news conference outside the White House that coincided with the United States Labour Day celebration.
According to him, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) treats China as a developing nation, and the United States “as a nation that is fully developed”.
He cited the United States-China trade agreement signed by the Obama administration under WTO conventions, describing it as one of the most disastrous trade deals in history.
“We are not fully developed, as far I am concerned.
“China didn’t t play by the rules. One of the reasons WTO is so bad is because China didn’t play by the rules.
“We did, but their rules were easier because they are considered a developing nation.
“So, their standards are much lower, but even at that they didn’t play by the rules,” he said.
Trump said the United States lost millions of jobs and billions of dollars to China under the deal, which his administration had renegotiated.
No country has ever cheated America like China did for many years and decades, the president said, adding that the United States was getting nothing other than losses.
“But China was taking our money to build their military. You see they are building a very powerful military.
“We are lucky I am building ours otherwise we would be dwarfed right now by China,” he said.
Reiterating his claim that China would own America should Joe Biden wins the Nov. 3 presidential election, he said his administration was working towards decoupling the United States and Chinese economies.
“So, when you mention the word decouple, it’s an interesting word.
“Under my administration, we will make America enter the manufacturing super power of the world that will end our reliance on China once and for all.
“Whether it’s decoupling or putting in massive tariffs like I have been doing already, we will end our reliance on China because we can’t rely on China,” he added.
Trump said the WTO had become much better following his rough stance against international organisations that were unfair to the United States
“We are looking at WTO. They have become much better. They have been very nice to us lately, I would say that, amazingly.
“We never used to win anything at the WTO, we were losing every case, but all of a sudden we won a lot of cases.
“We just won seven billion dollars, and they are talking to us much differently than they used to, because if they don’t shape up, we are going to shape out, that’s all.”
FG, Okonjo-Iweala seek global support as election for WTO top job begins
Nigeria has appealed for global support for its candidate as election process for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General position began on Monday in Geneva.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s two-time Finance Minister and a development economist is vying for the job alongside candidates from Mexico, Egypt, Moldova, UK, Saudia Arabia, Kenya, and South Korea.
At a reception held in Geneva to garner support for Iweala, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi the Minister of Trade and Investment described her as a global icon with proven leadership skills that the WTO required.
Adeniyi, who was represented by the Mr Abdulhamid Adamu, Charge d’ Affairs of the Nigerian Trade Office in Geneva listed some of Iweala’s achievements as spearheading negotiations and reforms that enhanced transparency of government accounts and strengthening institutions against corruption, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the first phase of the election process, Amb. David Walker, Chair of the WTO’s General Council and his colleagues from the Dispute Settlement body, Mr Dacio Castillo as well as that of the Trade Policy Review body, Mr Harald Aspelund will commence consultations with all WTO members.
The consultation is geared toward assessing their preferences to determine which candidate is best placed to attract consensus support.
At the end of the first phase of consultation three candidates will be dropped thereby paving the way for five candidates to move to the next level.
Okonjo-Iweala in an interview with NAN expressed her readiness for the job saying she possessed the required competence.
“I want our partners and the WTO members to know that I have the bundle of skills required to lead the organisation at this time and put it ahead and face it towards the future.
“I am hoping that they will support me.
“I have had constructive discussions with the WTO members and feel really good and confident but nothing is done until it’s done. So I don’t want to be overconfident “ She said.
She also expressed appreçiation to President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari for nominating and supporting her.
Okonjo-Iweala also expressed gratitude to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama for his support.
The WTO election process usually lasts up to two months.
So far, no date has been fixed yet for the announcement of the winner.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim