By James Emejo in Abuja
The Federal Government has again assured the international community that the 2019 general election will be free and fair.
Both the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, conveyed the Federal Government’s assurances to the international community as they led the country’s delegation to the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
“The upcoming elections in Nigeria would be transparent, fair, open to observers as well as respect for the rule of law,” the ministers told the gathering.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian delegation also made case for the country’s economic priorities within the development policy framework of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
The ministers had engaged with government representatives from other regions, business leaders and multinational economic operators, representing sectors that are principal drivers of economic growth.
The engagements were within the framework of economic, trade and investment reform priorities of the Federal Government to enhance trade flows and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for economic modernisation, growth and job creation.
Strategy and Communications Adviser to Enelamah, Mr. Bisi Daniels, in a statement, said Udoma, who participated in the session on shaping a new architecture on the global economy was also present at the African Ministers of Finance and Economic Development on Africa’s Growth Agenda, during which ministers took stock of economic issues and explored ways of deepening intra-African growth.
Udoma reportedly “Held a number of bilateral meetings, including the meeting with Mr. Ivo Menzinger, the Managing Director of Swiss Re Management Limited. In the meetings, Honourable Minister Senator Udoma reiterated that, ‘Nigeria remains Africa’s number one economy and the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, shall continue to take all necessary measures to improve this position”.
According to the statement, Enelamah also participated in a number of meetings with counterpart ministers responsible for international trade including the ministerial meeting on electronic commerce; the annual meeting of trade ministers; a bilateral meeting with the Swiss Foreign Minister, Mr. Ignazio Cassis, and meetings with investors, including representatives of Heineken and Citibank.
During the ministerial meeting on electronic commerce, however, participating ministers reportedly confirmed their intention to commence negotiations on trade-related aspects of ecommerce.
The statement further noted that 76 ministers, including Nigeria, adopted a joint statement on ecommerce.
According to Enelamah: “The global economy is undergoing a fast-paced technological revolution, characterised by complex challenges and significant opportunities. All shall be affected.
“Therefore, ecommerce negotiations must be constructive, pragmatic and provide benefits for developing countries like Nigeria. Nigeria must be at the table to ensure beneficial outcomes. Rules shall not be made for Nigeria by others in Nigeria’s absence”.
He further underscored the urgent necessity for WTO reform to ensure its relevance in the 21st Century and for development to be mainstreamed into its work.