Hard times: What we told Tinubu – WTO DG Okonjo Iweala

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said Nigeria needs to introduce community and grassroots programmes that would help create jobs for youth and women.

Addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday, Okonlo-Iweala said introducing community and grassroots programmes would address some of the challenges confronting the nation.

“We saw the President and focused on how we can support Nigerians at this time of need. We all know that things are very difficult for Nigerians outside, everyone is struggling. I’m here myself on a quiet visit. So this was not really an official WTO mission but we’re able to engage with Mr. President, talk about what kinds of programmes that could be put in place to make sure that the suffering of Nigerians is being alleviated.

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“And we had a really good conversation on trying to look at the community and grassroots programmes that can be put in place to create jobs for young people, trying to support women and children, who are bearing the brunt of some of the suffering in the country.

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“We talked about how for the longer term, we need to do that investment opportunities that Nigeria can cease, including in the pharmaceutical industry. We also talked about what type of support the World Trade Organisation can bring.

“We’re already working in Nigeria with women in particular, who own small and medium enterprises to try to help them upgrade the quality of their products whether it’s in the agricultural area, in textiles and in other areas so that they can sell more internationally.

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“We’re trying to help them with digital trade, the wave of the future digital trade, so how do we train and empower Nigerian women and owners of small and medium enterprises so they can trade more and create more jobs.

“So that is what we discussed with Mr. President and as the Director General of the World Trade Organization, we are going to try to do the most we can to support Nigerians and this particular time,” she said.

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