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Nigerian Coalition of Services Industries Elects Co-Chairpersons from NSE & NBA

Nigerian Coalition of Services Industries (NCSI) yesterday (28/8/18) held its Second Meeting with participants from the Nigerian Services Regulators, Services Operators, and competent authorities. Ms. Irene Robson-Ayanwale and Seni Adio, SAN from Nigerian Stock Exchange and Nigeria Bar Association, were elected as Co-Chairpersons to drive the work of the NCSI for the next year. Mrs. Ayanwale and Mr. Seni Adio, SAN, while accepting their roles as co-chairs noted that it was important that NOTN remain as Secretariat and continue providing support to the private sector-driven exercise with contributions and partnership from MDAs with competent jurisdiction. Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, DG NOTN, who convened the NCSI, stepped down as the chairman, underlining that “NCIS shall be private sector driven for its sustainability. The NOTN shall continue to provide Secretarial services. He also informed NCSI participants that the “government is determined that the NCSI shall not fail. Services trade was critical to the growth and modernization of the Nigerian economy, accounting for approximately 55% of the economy”. Speaking further, he referred to the recent GDP Q2 2018 data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The NBS Report had made evident the vital importance of Services Sector to growth in the Nigerian economy. Pointing to the Report, he noted that: “the 2.05% growth of the non-oil sector was driven by the services sectors of transportation, electricity, construction, telecommunication, water supply and sewage and broadcasting representing the strongest growth in non-oil GDP since Q4 2015.” He reminded the meeting that “there was no schedule for specific commitments on Trade in Services in the ECOWAS and Nigeria’s only Services Schedule had been deposited at the WTO in 1994. There was a pressing necessity for expedited action on a Services Schedule for Nigeria for growth, modernization and job creation”. The Second Session of the NCSI advanced work on an updated Draft Schedule of Specific Commitments for Trade in Services, geared to growth, investment attraction, job creation and modernization of the Nigerian economy. A timeline of end of August was agreed for the completion of this work. It will be recalled that Nigerian Coalition of Services Industries (NCIS) was launched by the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations on the 24th of July, 2018 to function as a lobby group to support trade in services and formulate inputs on positions for Nigeria in domestic, regional and continental trade negotiations. The NCSI yesterday effectively transferred the process to the private sector, while retaining the NOTN as the Secretariat.