Nigeria’s delegation to the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos, Switzerland, made a strong case for the country’s economic priorities within the development policy framework of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
The delegation was led by the ministers for Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, and Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah. The ministers engaged with government representatives from other regions, business leaders, and multinational economic operators on economic, trade and investment reforms to enhance trade flows, and attract foreign direct investment for economic modernisation, growth and job creation.
Udoma participated in the session on shaping a new architecture on the global economy, and also the African Ministers of Finance and Economic Development on Africa’s Growth Agenda, during which the ministers took stock of economic issues and explored ways of deepening intra-African growth.
During the various engagements er Udoma reiterated that, “Nigeria remains Africa’s number 1 economy, and the government, in partnership with the private sector, shall continue to take all necessary measures to improve this position.”
Enelamah in turn, participated in a number of meetings with counterpart ministers responsible for international trade. At the ministerial
meeting on electronic commerce, attended by 76 ministers representing the leading global economies, they confirmed their plan to commence negotiations on trade-related aspects of ecommerce.
Enelamah noted that, “the global economy is undergoing a fast-paced technological revolution, characterised by complex challenges and significant opportunities and so ecommerce negotiations must be constructive, pragmatic and provide benefits for developing countries like Nigeria.”
“Nigeria must be at the table to ensure beneficial outcomes. Rules shall not be made for Nigeria by others in Nigeria’s absence,” he stressed.
At the Annual Meeting of WTO Ministers, he underscored the urgent need for WTO reforms to ensure its relevance for the 21st Century, and for development to be more sharply mainstreamed into its work.
In their various engagements, both ministers assured global leaders and industry representatives that the upcoming elections in Nigeria would be transparent, fair, respectful of the rule of law, and open to international observers. They restated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to improving security, the fight against corruption, and economic development.
They urged investors to provide bold plans to scale-up their business and job creation for the Federal Government to provide them with support and incentives.Other members of the delegation included Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator, and Director-General, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe; Director-General Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze; and Director Macroeconomic Analysis, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Tunde Lawal.