Nigeria ratifies WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement

Nigeria ratifies WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement

Friday, January 20, 2017 3:24 pm

Okechukwu Enelamah: Minister of Trade and Industry

Okechukwu Enelamah: Minister of Trade and Industry

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment says Nigeria has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which making Nigeria the 107th World Trade Organisation (WTO) member to endorse the agreement.

The information is contained in a statement by Constance Ikokwu, the Strategic Communications Adviser to the minister on Friday in Lagos.

The statement said that Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment submitted Nigeria’s instrument of acceptance to Mr Roberto Azevêdo, the Director-General of the WTO at the onging World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

According to the statement, only three more ratifications from members are needed to achieve the two-third threshold that will bring the TFA into force.

“Nigeria’s ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement is a reflection of our commitment to the WTO and a rules-based economy.

“It is evidence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to rapidly implement his presidential initiative on the creation of an enabling environment for business.

“Nigeria would like to see a strengthened WTO that reflects the development principles of developing countries like Nigeria and we praise the effectiveness of DG Azevêdo in this regard,” Enelamah said.

It said that Nigeria submitted its Category A notification to the WTO on Nov. 10, 2014,
outlining substantive provisions of the TFA it intends to implement upon entry into force of the agreement.

According to the statement, the TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement.

It said the TFA contained provisions for fast-tracking the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

“It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other relevant authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

“It contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.”

It said that a 2015 study conducted by WTO economists, showed that full implementation of the TFA would reduce members’ trade costs by an average of 14.3 per cent, among others.

Other African countries that have ratified the agreement are Botswana, Niger, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Zambia, Lesotho, Mali, Senegal, Swaziland, Gabon, Ghana and Mozambique. (NAN)

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