FEC approves national trade office

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday approved the establishment of a national office for trade negotiations.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting.

He said that the office would coordinate trade negotiations by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) which were not properly done in the past.

“What we found was that this was happening in various ministries, departments and agencies with insufficient coordination and therefore, frequently, it had unintended consequences and costs for us.

“The cabinet decided that it is wise to establish a coordinating central office for trade negotiations, the Nigerian office for Trade Negotiations.

“It will be headed by a Chief Trade Negotiator of Ambassador rank that would then work with both the Economic Management Team and the cabinet.’’

The minister said that the office would assist in the coordination of the various trade discussions and negotiations.

He added that it would also be a proactive strategy for engaging discussions at the continental level of free trade area agreements and negotiations as well as guide in other trade agreements with strategic partners across the globe.

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Enelamah said that the administration wanted to have trade remedies against dumping of substandard goods as well as other issues in line with global practices.

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