The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the notification of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of Nigeria’s Category ‘A’ implementation commitment in the World Trade Facilitation Agreement.
It has also approved the transmission to the National Assembly the Draft Bill for an Act to establish the National Biotechnology Development Agency and Other Related Matters as well as gave its approval for the ratification of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a consultation mechanism for the integrated management of water resources.
The WTO agreement is a multilateral trade agreement, which is geared towards helping member states to update their infrastructure, train customs and other border agencies’ officials to implement the agreement.
Also referred to as the Bali Treaty, it is a trade agreement resulting from the 9th Ministerial Conference of WTO in Bali, Indonesia, held between December 3 and 7, 2013, and aimed at lowering global trade barriers. Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Supervising Minister of Information, Nurudeen Mohammad, accompanied by the Ministers of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga as well as the Minister of Science and Technology, Abu Bullama, said the approval came following a memo by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Explaining the implication and benefits of Nigeria’s commitment in the Category ‘A’, Aganga said if well implemented, it is expected to bring about one per cent reduction in trade cost globally.
“It will lead to about 40 billion increase in revenue. This is expected to lead to about 15 per cent reduction in the cost of trade,” he said. He noted that the commitment will also help increase the export of developing countries by about $570 billion.
“If well implemented globally, it will increase the global GDP by $1 trillion, create close to about 30 million jobs, 21 million of which will be coming from developing countries.
“For Africa, as you know, the intra-Africa trade is very low at 11 per cent and 12 per cent and Africa’s share of the global wealth is low at three per cent.
“If this commitments is properly implemented, it will significantly increase the regional and continental trade; as you know, Africa wants to become a continental free trade area by 2017, so for African countries, this is important to us. Even if we do it from an African perspective, it will help facilitate trade and accelerate that economic integration within regional and African countries,” he said.
The WTO trade facilitation agreement creates a binding commitment across the 159 member countries to expedite movement, the release and clearance of goods.
Source : SunOnline