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FG to drive new ERGP with establishment of Trade Negotiation Office

As part of strategic moves to propel the new development roadmap, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the Federal Government has approved the establishment of Nigerian Trade Negotiation Office (NTNO) expected to serve as the central database for trade agreements.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okay Enelamah said in Abuja yesterday that the office is to help to coordinate the different trade agreements to achieve coherence in the government’s policies.

“NTNO is part of the government’s proactive strategy towards engaging with strategic trade partners. The trade office will be domiciled in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and will be over sighted by the Economic Management Team (EMT). It will also help in the implementation of the country’s ERGP.

The Minister noted that NTNO will be headed by a Chief Negotiator of ambassadorial rank that will work with both the EMT and the FEC.

According to him, “One of the memoranda approved is to establish the NTNO. Trade is something that is quite pervasive, we get involved in a lot of negotiations and a lot of MoUs are signed on trade.

“What we found was happening in various Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) was insufficient coordination and therefore it had unintended consequences and cost for us. There are a number of examples of these things that have happened so the cabinet decided that it is wise to establish a coordinating central office for trade negotiations, which will work with both the EMT and the cabinet,” Dr. Enelamah said.