“Improving security and lowering transaction cost for foreign investment, even for domestic investment, would be necessary.
“Nigeria is part of a group of countries negotiating an agreement on investment facilitation at the WTO.
“Once this agreement is negotiated, ratified and is being implemented, it could be instrumental in attracting additional trade-oriented investment.
“To complement investment facilitation, Nigeria has to cut down on trade cost, infrastructure cost, linkage cost, regulatory cost, customs cost, basically, all costs associated with moving goods from tie factory or farm gate to the final consumer.
“Nigeria’s trade costs are too high. According to the World Bank-ESCAP trade costs for 2019, trade costs for African countries are on the average equivalent of a 304 per cent tariff and for Nigeria, it’s even slightly higher at 306%.
“These numbers are one and half times higher than trade cost in high-income countries. Such high costs are not conducive to forming a regional value chain.
“Congestion, capacity constraints and high costs in our ports make life difficult for anyone seeking to build supply chain operations in Nigeria and hence, expand trade from there.”
These views were expressed by the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala while speaking to President Muhammadu Buhari and his team via a video link on the second day of the Mid-term Ministerial Performance Review at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Okonjo-Iweala, who was minister of Finance in the government of Present Goodluck Jonathan, stressed that 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.