The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) has called on member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to support Nigeria’s candidate for election into the office of the Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
In a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja, chairman of the forum and Kebbi state governor and Governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said the main objective of establishing the World Trade Organization is to create a trading system that is equitable and with least distortions.
“Regrettably, while being an improvement on the Agreement on Trade and Tariffs GATT, the WTO is yet to deliver in achieving the objectives. Worst still is that it is perceived as impotent. The exit of UK from EU and the brickbat between the US and China is illustrative of the difficulties with bilateral trade agreements talk more of a global one. The failure of the WTO to reach an agreement on agriculture, for example is punitive to all of Africa”, he said.
According to Gov. Bagudu, the literal freezing of world trade occasioned by the Coronavirus Pandemic serves as a stark warning that the world needs to have a better trade system.
“Whoever imagined that one country can ‘seize’ medical supplies going to other countries? Fixing the global trading system is one of the most important challenges of our time and doing so shall contribute to global prosperity more than any agreement. In so doing poverty shall be reduced and global prosperity shall be more equitably shared. Reforming the World Trade Organization is at the heart of any of such quest, and thus the choice of the next leader of the Organization matters.
“In nominating our own Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President Buhari is not just presenting a Nigerian Candidate but is presenting to the world one of its best, albeit from Nigeria, and one who is eminently qualified to lead the task of fixing the world trading system. An economist, international development expert and a global public servant, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is one candidate that comes with all the experiences and expertise required to reposition the WTO. Both President Buhari and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala deserve commendation for giving the world the opportunity towards correcting the distortions in the world trading system.”