Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Honourable Minister for Budget and National Planning and, Dr. Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, both led the Nigerian Delegation to the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos, Switzerland.
In Davos, they aggressively pushed the economic priorities of Nigeria, within the development policy framework of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). The Ministers engaged with government representatives from other regions, business leaders and, multinational economic operators, representing sectors that are principal drivers of economic growth. The engagements were within the framework of the government for economic, trade and investment reform priorities to enhance trade flows and attract FDI for economic modernization, growth and job creation.
Minister of Budget and National Panning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma participated at the session on Shaping a New Architecture on the Global Economy. He also participated at the African Ministers of Finance and Economic Development on Africa’s Growth Agenda, during which Ministers took stock of economic issues and explored ways of deepening intra-African growth. Minister Udoma held a number of bilateral meetings, including the meeting with Mr Ivo Menzinger, the MD of Swiss Re Management Limited. In meetings, Honourable Minister Senator Udoma reiterated that, “Nigeria remains Africa’s number one economy and the FGN, in partnership with the private sector, shall continue to take all necessary measures to improve this position”.
Dr. Enelamah participated at a number of meetings with counterpart Ministers responsible for International Trade. These included the Ministerial Meeting on Electronic Commerce; the Annual Meeting of Trade Ministers; a bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr. Ignazio Cassis, the Swiss Foreign Minister; and, meetings with investors, including representatives of Heineken and Citibank.
At the Ministerial Meeting on Electronic Commerce, participating Ministers confirmed their intention to commence negotiations on trade-related aspects of ecommerce. At this meeting, 76 Ministers, including Nigeria, representing the leading economies in the global economy, accounting for 90% of world trade, adopted a Joint Statement on e-Commerce. HM Enelamah noted that, “the global economy is undergoing a fast-paced technological revolution, characterized by complex challenges and significant opportunities. All shall be affected. Therefore, 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”. At the Annual Meeting of WTO Ministers, Minister Enelamah underscored the urgent necessity for WTO reform to ensure its relevance for the 21st Century and for development to be more sharply mainstreamed into its work.
Ministers Udoma and Enelamah, in their various coordinated engagements, assured global leaders and representatives of industry that the upcoming elections in Nigeria would be transparent, fair, open to Observers and respectful of the rule of law. Notwithstanding the electoral process, President Muhammadu Buhari remained focused on the three priorities of government for improved security, the fight against corruption and economic growth for job creation. A central and repeated message in their meetings with investors was: “Give us your bold plans to scale-up your business and job creation and the FGN shall provide you with support and incentives”.
Other Members of the Delegation were Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator/DG Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations; Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director-General Budget Office; Mr. Tunde Lawal, Director Macro-economic Analysis, Budget and National Planning; Mr. Akpandem James, Special Adviser (Media and Communication) and Dr Usenobong Akpan, Technical Assistant to the Hon. Minister for Budget and National Planning.
Monday, January 28, 2019