Latest News
  • ***In Abuja, today (19th June), ECOWAS-15 Regional Stakeholders commenced technical meeting to finalize the Market Access Offer (Schedule) of Tariff Concessions for Trade in Goods, for the operational launch of the AfCFTA, in July, 2019 *** The Goods Market Access Offer (Schedule) shall establish the 90% level of ambition (non-sensitive) and sensitive lists, and staging periods, for the ECOWAS-15, in the AfCFTA. In the AfCFTA, the ECOWAS-15 is negotiating, collectively, as a Customs Union (CU), with a common, undifferentiated Goods Schedule that shall preserve its integrity as a Customs Union *** Nigerian Trade Negotiators were in Addis from 20th May to 8th June to participate at technical negotiations, policy meetings and bilateral engagements, preparatory to the 12thExtraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) for the “Operational Launch” of the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA, scheduled for Niamey, Niger, on 7th July. Ambassador Osakwe, Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator, led the Nigerian Delegation *** In Addis, the Nigerian Delegation participated at the meetings of the 15th Negotiating Forum (NF) of the AfCFTA; Senior Trade Officials (STOs) of the African Union; and, the 8th Meeting of the African Ministers of Trade (AMOT). Ambassador Osakwe, DG NOTN and Ambassador Albert Muchanga, AU Industry and Trade Commissioner, with their Teams, undertook a detailed technical review of the legal and policy status of the AfCFTA and the envisaged draft package to be submitted for decisions to the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the AU Niamey Summit *** WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, on the margins of the OECD Ministerial Meeting in Paris, participated at the WTO Informal Ministerial meeting on 23 May. Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, at the WTO Informal Ministerial, urged Ministers to address systemic challenges and advance negotiating work in parallel. Azevêdo advised intensified work on fisheries subsidies, if there was to be a successful outcome by the agreed end-of-year deadline ***

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: