The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has commended the Nigerian government for accepting the Fisheries Subsidies agreement. Nigeria submitted its acceptance to the global fishery agreement to the WTO on Monday 12 June 2023, a move that will ensure that fishery activities are effectively regulated. The agreement aims to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities as well as prohibit fishing of overfished stocks. It also seeks to end subsidies for fishing in the unregulated high seas, which the Nigerian government said would ensure the development of the country’s fisheries sector.
The agreement has not come into effect yet, because some countries are still reluctant to accept it. Nigeria is the second country in Africa to submit its acceptance of the agreement to the WTO. Acceptance from two-thirds of WTO members is required for the agreement to take effect, but Okonjo-Iweala said only one-third has been secured.
She said: “I am proud to see the country’s continued commitment to sustainable development and its vote of confidence in the work of the WTO. Nigeria’s acceptance adds to our growing tally of members that have accepted the agreement — we have received about one-third of the total needed for the agreement to enter into force. I hope that Nigeria’s action serves as an inspiration to other governments in Africa and around the world to swiftly implement the agreement and foster global cooperation for the benefit of our shared future.”