Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of World Trade Organisation, has applauded Nigeria’s Afrobeats stars, Burna Boy and Wizkid, for winning awards at the 2021 Grammy, saying such services should be encouraged for export in Nigeria.
Ms. OKonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday in Abuja, while meeting with captains of industry, said with a large number of educated people, Nigeria had a comparative advantage in services.
The WTO boss described the Nigerian entertainment industry as a vibrant services sector embodied by artists, writers, musicians, actors, and filmmakers.
“We are exporting so much of our creative arts abroad, and this seems to be encouraged,” she said.
She further said Nigeria’s economy was at a critical juncture, adding that insufficient structural change had made Nigeria more vulnerable to shocks from the fall in oil prices five years ago.
She added, “The world bank estimates that even without the pandemic, two million Nigerians would have fallen into poverty in 2020. The pandemic-induced recession is likely to have pushed an additional five million Nigerians into poverty in 2020.
“Nigeria’s economy shrank by 2.2 percent in 2020 and will only recover to 1.5 percent growth in 2021, according to IMF data. With the domestic market of over 200 million people accounting to close to Africa’s economics outlook Nigeria has the potential to be an engine of investment, innovation, and job creation in West Africa.”
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala noted that in 2019 Nigeria accounted for 0.3 percent of global merchandise trade according to WTO data.