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WTO: Okonjo-Iweala To Meet With CBN Governor




The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will meet with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

The duo will meet to discuss the country’s multiple exchange rate regime.

According to Okonjo-Iweala, members of WTO are complaining of Nigeria’s multiple exchange rates regime, which has split foreign exchange in three different ways, as the CBN rate, investors window rate, and the parallel market have different price exchanges.

Okonjo-Iweala is in Nigeria for a one-week visit, her first since she was declared the Director-General of the world trade body.

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Following a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, she told the press of the concern raised by other countries regarding a change in the forex policy of Nigeria.

She said: “WTO has one of the agreements of balance of payments, and Nigeria certainly invoked this to be able to conserve foreign exchange. But some other members have brought a complaint against us (Nigeria) that we shouldn’t have used this article in that way.

“Yes, the WTO is concerned about foreign exchange, the way we manage it, the way we use it, and how we use it to support manufacturing or imports and exports in our economy.”

She said Nigeria must explain to WTO members why it is engaging in multiple foreign exchanges.

According to her, the discussion had previously been held, but she won’t be speaking on behalf of Nigeria this time, as she’s the head of WTO.

“I think that we had that discussion with them, they complaints about the exchange rate regime and we (Nigeria) try to explain. I shouldn’t say we because I’m now DG WTO, it is for Nigeria’s representative to explain to the WTO, to those members complaining why we’re doing this.

“But eventually, I think having a strong exchange rate and being able to phase out of this, I think we’ll be heading in that direction. We’re also going to see the governor of the central bank, and will undoubtedly discuss some of these issues.”

Meanwhile, Emefiele had started the process of unifying Nigeria’s multiple exchange rates, but the apex bank governor said he won’t be unifying the rates in line with the black market price, as only illegal businesses conduct forex transactions in the parallel market.




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