Nigerian govt approves trade negotiations office, new yellow card

Nigerian govt approves trade negotiations office, new yellow card
May 10 18:35 2017

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a memorandum for the establishment of the Nigerian Office of Trade Negotiations.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Mr. Geoffrey Enelamah, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting in Abuja.

He said establishment of the office was necessary to coordinate negotiations by government agencies in the country.

“Trade is something that is quite pervasive.  We get involved in a lot of negotiations and a lot of MOUs assigned on trade. What we found was this was happening in various ministries and agencies and department with insufficient coordination and therefore consequently, 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. The Nigerians office for trade negotiations which will be headed by a chief negotiator of ambassadorial rank that will then work with both the economic management team and the cabinet.

“Some of the objectives of that office will be to help us to coordinate the various trade discussions and negotiations that will hold and to achieve coherence in our policies so that our policies will pull our trade together.

“As part of an offensive strategy of being proactive in engaging some of the discussions we are having on the continental free trade area agreement that we are negotiating or other free trade agreement that we have entered into with strategic partners all over the world,” he said.

Also speaking, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said the council also approved a new Yellow Fever Vaccination Card, which would be launched soon.

He said the new yellow card has advanced security features that would make it difficult to be faked.

“One of the challenges we had in the past with the current yellow card is that it could be issued by anybody and those who did not even receive the vaccination could also in fact get a card signed for them.

“With this new card, you cannot fake the yellow card. Using a card reader, we can also document your vaccination status. So, we know whether you have been genuinely vaccinated or not,” he said.

The council also approved a memo for the commencement of negotiations following the submission the Outline Business Case (OBC) by General Electric (GE), Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said.

He said the transaction advisors would commence negotiations with General Electric to conclude concession of the narrow gauge which starts from Lagos to Kano to Funtua and Kaura-Namoda as well as from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri which includes Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Markudi, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe on to Maiduguri.

The minister said the council also approved that the consultant should supervise the construction of Lagos-Ibadan railway.