Nigeria is in the news again, this time not for the same old but for producing the first-ever female and black Director-General to man the affairs of the World Trade Organization. This is so with the recent confirmation of its former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the exalted position.
This development is a confirmation of the optimism expressed by many Nigerians and top world leaders that the experienced economist would clinch the top post especially after last year’s endorsement by the European Union (EU).
Possible Economic, Trade, and Tax Benefits to the Nigerian Economy
Consequentially, apart from the prestige of producing the first female and African WTO DG, Nigeria stands to gain a greater presence and advantageous relationship within the World Trade Organisation. Possibly, this could quicken the space of Nigeria’s development and balance of trade.
Taxmobile.Online expresses that her appointment coming at a time Nigeria is talking seriously about economic diversification would offer support and traction to this all-important agenda that would eventually expand its tax net.
Also, the WTO opportunity would greatly enhance the strategic road map of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (FMITI) especially on the signed African Continental Free Trade Area, the WTO top job would help to spur the expected expansion of market access for Nigerian exporters and growth, thereby boosting job creation and supporting industrialisation.
Coincidentally, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment could be the greatest beneficiary, particularly in the area of bilateral engagements with strategic trading and investment partners, to address challenges and hindrances to trade and investment.
Some of the engagements her emergence can boost include, the UK-Africa Investment Summit, the Nigeria-India Bi-National Commission, US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, the Nigeria-Thailand Business Forum, and the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum.
Nigeria being an import-dependent country, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s confirmation as WTO DG would help quicken FMITI’s implementation of approved anti-smuggling measures such as Dispute Resolution and Diplomatic Solutions; Direct Action Against Smuggling Rings; Innovative Use of Technology; Deepening and Enforcement of Penalties and Sanctions; Inland Measures; and Institutional Reforms.
Irrespective of the above projections for the Nigerian economy, only time would tell what fortune having a Nigerian Director-General of the World Trade Organization and another Nigerian as President of African Development Bank will bring to its struggling economy.