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Nigeria approves the WTO fishery agreement

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The Nigerian government has been praised by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), for accepting the Fisheries Subsidies agreement.

In Geneva, Switzerland, Mohammed Abdulhamid handed the Director-General of Nigeria’s instrument of acceptance.

The Agreement must receive approval from two-thirds of WTO members to take effect. 

The Agreement prohibits support for overfished stocks, IUU fishing, and unreported high-seas fishing, and it stops providing subsidies for these practices. 

“I am sincerely grateful to Nigeria for formally accepting the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies,” said DG Okonjo-Iweala.

She further said “I am pleased to see the nation’s continued support for sustainable development and its endorsement of the WTO’s efforts”

Nigeria’s acceptance increases the number of members who have ratified the Agreement; currently, we have about one-third of the required number of members for the Agreement to become effective.

I hope that Nigeria’s action will serve as motivation for other African and international governments to implement the Agreement quickly and promote international cooperation for the benefit of our shared future.”

According to Ambassador Abdulhamid, “The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies presents a unique opportunity for Nigeria to promote sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and the improvement of livelihoods while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.”

He added that he was confident the Agreement would end all harmful fisheries subsidies, including illegal, covert, and unreported fishing by all WTO members.

He continued, “By submitting this instrument of acceptance, Nigeria reaffirms its commitment to a rule-based multilateral trading system by pledging its adherence to the Agreement and refraining from enacting any new subsidies that harm the marine environment while acknowledging the need for appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries, which can be attained through adequate policy space to develop its fishery, Nigeria calls on other WTO members to ratify this agreement as soon as possible to support our international effort to preserve the world’s fish stocks.”

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