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  • ***WTO: Nigeria has taken a position that pushes for ambitious reform, update and modernization of the WTO to make it fit for the 21st Century *** University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria, honours Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, Nigerian Chief Trade Negotiator/DG NOTN with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his selfless contributions to Public Service in Nigeria and globally *** NOTN holds its end of year staff lunch today (20th Dec. 2018). DG Amb. Chiedu Osakwe commends Nigeria’s Trade Negotiators for their contributions to strengthening Nigerian economy through expanded markets, leadership in ECOWAS & AfCFTA, and modernization of the Nigerian economy *** Amb. Osakwe appeals to NOTN staff to implement President Buhari’s priority objective to use trade as an engine of growth. *** Nigeria’s Trade Policy was last updated in 2002. NOTN, under the leadership of Amb. Osakwe is currently preparing an updated Trade Policy Report, a “21st Century Trade Policy for Nigeria - A Welfare and Prosperity Agenda that Works for All”. The draft is ready and is currently under review after which Stakeholders in the Trade Policy Community shall be consulted. ***

NIGERIA DIGITAL ECONOMY

To accelerate growth and modernize the Nigerian economy, Nigeria is developing a digital-led growth strategy for the Nigerian economy: “The Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project”. The objective of this project is to solve efficiency problems and create leap frog opportunities in the economy, improve competitiveness and foster technology development and innovation more generally. “The Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project” is our response to an area of intense economic and technological activity by Nigerian youths, where there is a growing pool of talent. It is a sector of the economy where the private sector already has ownership. The role of government would therefore be to ensure a sound soft regulatory environment and hardware infrastructure to foster rapid growth of this area. E-commerce is an area of global investor confidence in Nigeria. The figures show that Nigeria is one of the leading IT markets in Africa, where there has been a rapid surge in the development of e-commerce businesses. According to Euromonitor International Market Research, e-commerce advancements have been most notable in Nigeria because of the surge in telecom investments and smartphone purchases which have fuelled growth in internet usage from 20% in 2009 to 41% in 2014. According to Euromonitor International data, Nigeria has the largest online market particularly for apparel and footwear in Africa, which is expected to grow from US$104 million in 2014 to US$1,077 million in 2019, due to the dynamic development of trusted e-tailers, Jumia and Konga. Digital economy activities are key for diversification because they are systemic. Software development solves local economic problems, with local content; expanding knowledge and education in the process and deepening integration with the global economy. The relevance of the internet economy are the spin-off benefits for the modernization and diversification of the Nigerian economy; and, solving efficiency losses. The objectives of the Smart Nigeria Project, include: