The Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, revealed that she had a discussion with President Bola Tinubu regarding the hardships faced by Nigerians after the removal of fuel subsidy.
Okonjo-Iweala made these comments during a press briefing on Tuesday, following her meeting with President Tinubu at the State House in Abuja.
The former Minister of State for Health and Minister-designate, Dr. Mohammed Pate, accompanied her during the meeting.
Okonjo-Iweala stated that her visit to Tinubu aimed to explore ways to alleviate poverty in Nigeria.
“That is what is needed now, helping Nigerians to alleviate the difficult conditions that they are in,” Okonjo-Iweala said.
“Our conversation with the president centred on formulating approaches aimed at job creation, foster women’s empowerment and bolster digital trade within Nigeria’s economy.
“This was not really an official WTO mission, but we were able to engage with Mr. President to talk about what are the kinds of programmes that could be put in place to make sure that Nigerians are okay.
“We had a conversation on trying to look at community and grassroots programmes that can be put in place to create jobs for young people trying to support women and children who are bearing the brunt of some of the suffering in the country.”
Okonjo-Iweala further said that the visit afforded them the opportunity to also talk about investment for the longer term in many other sectors in Nigeria including the pharmaceutical industry.
“We also talked about what type of support the WTO, the World Trade Organization, can bring,” she added.
“We are already working in Nigeria with women in particular, who own small and medium enterprises, to try to help them upgrade the quality of their products, whether it’s in the agricultural area, textiles, and in other areas so that they can sell more internationally.
We are trying to help them with digital trade. The wave of the future is digital trade. So, how do we train and empower Nigerian women and small and medium enterprises throughout the country, create more jobs?
“That is what is needed now in Nigeria to alleviate these difficult conditions that the people are in.
“So, that is what we discussed with Mr. President and as the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, we are going to try to do the most we can to support Nigerians at this particular time.”
Pate who is the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, said that Tinubu is actively working to ameliorate the suffering and pains of the citizens.