The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has underscored the need for Nigeria to cut down its trade cost to attract more investments.
She spoke on Tuesday while addressing the just concluded two-day Mid-term Ministerial Performance Review retreat, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Okonjo-Iweala, who spoke to the retreat via a video link, observed that the country’s trade cost is far higher than those of income countries.
The WTO Director-General also stressed the need to improve security to attract foreign and domestic investments.
According to her, Nigeria must cut down not only on trade cost but also infrastructure cost, linkage cost, regulatory cost, customs cost, and all costs associated with moving goods from the factory to the final consumer to complement investment facilitation.
She said Nigeria’s trade cost, which is about two per cent higher than the rest of African countries, is equivalent of 306% tariff, and about one and half times higher than the cost in high income countries.
She said congestion, capacity constraints and high costs at Nigerian ports do not encourage investments as they make it difficult to build supply chain operations in the country.