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Nigeria clears 3-year contribution arrears to WTO

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Nigeria has cleared a backlog of its annual contribution to the World Trade Organisation, WTO, from 2019 to 2022.

The new director-general of WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made this disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja during a meeting with finance minister Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed.

Nigeria did not only clear the areas of 2019; it paid for 2020 and 2021 and paid in advance for 2022,  Okonjo-Iweala said.

Though the former finance minister did not disclose the amount paid by Nigeria to clear the outstanding fees, contributions to WTO are determined according to each member’s share of international trade (percentage) based on trade in goods, services and intellectual property rights.

There is a minimum contribution of 0.015 percent for members whose share in all members’ total trade is less than 0.015 percent. WTO record shows that  Nigeria’s trade share among member-states has never declined to that level.

According to the WTO record between 2015 and 2020, Nigeria has contributed a total of  CHF4,306,865 (N1.8 billion) to the WTO.

Nigeria, recognised as the strongest economy in Africa, contributed CFH 586,500 in 2020, CFH 656,880 in 2019, CFH 742,900 in 2018, CFH 785,910 in 2017, CFH 752,675 in 2016, and CFH 782,000 in 2015.

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The amount contributed in 2020 and 2015 shows that Nigeria’s share of international trade has dropped by 25 percent in the last five years.

In the third quarter of 2020, Nigeria economy slid into recession with a decline of 3.6 percent, leading to the second recession in five years.

Though the economy exited recession in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s recovery is expected to be weak and gradual under current policies, the IMF has predicted.

“Real GDP growth in 2021 is expected to turn positive at 1.5 percent. Real GDP is expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level only in 2022”, say  Ari Aisen, Jesmin Rahman and Jiaxiong Yao of the IMF, African Department.

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