NACCIMA Visit to the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at WTO Headquarters in Geneva.

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  • June 22, 2023

The National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Kelvin Oye Esq yesterday led a high-profile NACCIMA delegation to pay a very significant courtesy call on Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization on Wednesday 21st June 2023, at WTO Headquarters in Geneva. This is a supporting activity in view of the 39-delegate strong NACCIMA’s participation at the ongoing World Chambers Congress taking place currently at Palexpo venue in Geneva, Switzerland.

The full complement of NACCIMA delegates present was:

  1. Dele Kelvin Oye Esq National President
  2. Engr. Jani Ibrahim, 1st Deputy President
  3. Dr Membere Otaji, 2nd Deputy President
  4. John Udeagbala, Immediate Past President
  5. Asiwaju Michael Olawale-Cole, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
  6. Alhaji Suleiman Farouk, National Vice President
  7. Sola Obadimu, Director-General
  8. Mrs. Victoria Akai, Director General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

The WTO Director General was supported by:

    1. Her Chief of Staff, Dr Chu Okogwu (former DG of Nigerian Federal Budget Office) and
    2. Tomochika Uyama, Senior Policy Advisor To the WTO DG

After due introductions on both sides, the National President opened up discussions by expressing his deep appreciation and gratitude to the WTO DG for creating time to receive the NACCIMA delegation. He emphasised that the NACCIMA delegation was deliberately of topmost quality in view of the limitations we got in terms of number of attendees.

He commended the WTO DG on her very powerful and impressive presentation/delivery at the opening session of the WCC at Palexpo venue in Geneva earlier in the day. He acknowledged that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a top human export on the global stage for Nigeria for which all Nigerians are all proud and for which we could ‘walk tall’ with pride wherever her name is mentioned.

He expressed his willingness to collaborate with WTO in exploring ways to promote trade. Going into specific details, he expressed concerns on the standard issues affecting our export efforts which sometimes lead to rejection of goods at the ports of receiving countries.

For the NP, issues like this are critical for NACCIMA which represents the largest number of businesses in Nigeria with membership encompassing all Chambers of Commerce across Nigeria, including bilateral, multilateral Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, as well as major, medium, and small businesses. NACCIMA also currently issues certificates of origin for all goods exiting Nigeria. According to him, NACCIMA remains dedicated to promoting international trade and development but needs credible support from international/multilateral bodies such as WTO to fully realise this potential.

NACCIMA thereby aligns with the World Trade Organization in its efforts to foster free and fair trade, promoting an open market, and facilitating sustainable economic growth. To achieve these goals for Nigeria, the NP specifically appealed for the following support from the WTO:


    1. To help develop a national trade policy framework that creates an enabling environment for Nigerian businesses to compete in international markets.

    1. To assist in capacity building in any form for NACCIMA and Nigeria to optimize business, including trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area.

    1. Technical assistance for Nigerian SMEs, such as capacity-building programs, trade finance mechanisms, grants and technological support.

    1. Support for Nigerian businesses in accessing global markets through the removal of trade and discriminatory barriers faced by Nigerian exporters.

    1. Assistance with improving the regulatory framework of the Nigerian economy. NACCIMA will require guidance/assistance in areas such as intellectual property and public procurement policies.

He further explained the structure of NACCIMA, which has various trade groups, including NACCIMA’s Women Group (NAWORG), now registered as Women Chambers of Commerce (WCC), as well as the NACCIMA Youth Entrepreneurs. These groups exist in all of over 70 Chambers of Commerce across Nigeria. NACCIMA wants to benefit from the WTO’s initiatives designated for SMEs, women, and youth.

Finally, the NP expressed the hopes for NACCIMA to possibly sign an MOU with WTO to help address some (if not all) of these requests and take the issues forward on a practical and implementable note.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala expressed her delight at receiving the NACCIMA delegates at her office. She expressed her willingness to consider the NACCIMA’s requests, particularly the ones that are geared towards improvements in quality of exports and capacity building for SMEs.

She gave assurance that these requests would be diligently reviewed and whichever issues to be taken forward would then be brought up for NACCIMA to start an implementation consideration process on them, starting with the preparation of a concept note detailing scope, objectives, terms of reference (if required), respective expectations and responsibilities, timelines for project delivery, etc. She commended NACCIMA (and, indeed, the whole Nigerian Chamber Movement) for the indelible direct and indirect contributions to the Nigerian Economy over the decades.

On a conclusive note, the NP made some presentations including a plaque and gift items to the WTO DG followed by group photographs and networking.

Sola Obadimu
Director General

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