The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said it will assist Nigeria among other nations, to achieve greater fish production. Member countries of the UN agency recently signed the agreement on fishery subsidies, after two decades of negotiations. The Director-General (D-G) WTO Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who held a meeting with officials of the Federal Ministry of Trade, in Abuja, said the Agreement is a historic achievement for the membership being the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to be fully met through a multilateral agreement.
She urged Nigeria to take full advantage of the agreement to advance the fishing industry, in the country. The D-G counselled Nigeria to be proactive in meeting the conditions spelt out during the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference that took place in Geneva ,Switzerland recently in order to access fisheries funding. She said, “the Agreement represents a historic achievement for the membership as the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to be fully met, the first SDG target met through a multilateral agreement, the first WTO agreement to focus on the environment, the first broad, binding, multilateral agreement on ocean sustainability, and only the second agreement reached at the WTO since its inception.” A Fish fund has been set up to assist member countries, with a view to raising their capacities to up the game in the fishing industry.
In her welcome address, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum, commended the Director General of WTO for her sterling leadership and tenacity that led to the positive outcomes at the recently concluded MC12. Katagum assured that Nigeria would not rest on her laurels in the implementation of the outcomes of the Conference, adding that steps have been taken to ensure timely and effective implementation of these outcomes.” She said “Nigeria welcomes the outcomes of the MC12 and notes the great progress that the MC12 made. We note, however, that we must not rest on our oars but should take this success recorded at the MC12 as a sign that with the right leadership, a lot can be done and we must build on this momentum to make progress in all other outstanding areas of work at the WTO. On return from Geneva, I immediately notified Mr President about the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference (Monday 20th June, 2022) and we are in the process of preparing a Council Note to inform the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the outcome and the steps that need to be taken to ensure timely and effective implementation of these outcomes.”