The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) on Friday in Abuja, called for concerted efforts to make Nigeria’s participation in future trade negotiations more effective.
The Director-General of NOTN, Mr Yonov Agah, made the call at the end of a five-day National Intensive Negotiations Simulation Skills Course for Nigeria organised by NOTN in collaboration with ODI and Ukaid.
About 60 participants drawn from NOTN, civil society organisations, the media and ministries, departments and agencies attended the event.
While congratulating the participants for successfully completing the course, Agah expressed hope that Nigeria’s participation in future trade negotiations would improve.
According to him, “I hope together we can make Nigeria’s participation in future trade negotiations more effective, more constructive and to the best benefit of the country’s development objectives and priorities’’.
“Trade is about creating opportunities for businesses and if everybody decides to close his borders nobody will make progress,’’ Agah said.
On his part, Prof. Dickson Yeboah, Former Head, Course on Intensive Trade Negotiations Skills, World Trade Organisation, stressed the need for more skilful trade negotiators to negotiate better deals for Nigeria.
Yeboah, who is also the lead facilitator, said that the course exposed the participants to new ways of negotiating agreements.
Yeboah described negotiating skills as key and critical in attracting more deals and investments to Nigeria.
“This will lead to further creation of jobs and reduction of poverty in Nigeria,’’ he said.
On behalf of the participants, Mr Oventen Ebhohimhen, said that the course provided a glimpse of how various countries come up with their negotiating positions and how economic needs guide positions.
“The total of our experiences in these preparatory stages for negotiations and the consequent deployment of these skills in the simulation exercises has been a worthwhile venture.
“It has further enhanced our level of preparedness in handling some of the tasks that we expect to come our way,’’ Ebhohimhen said.