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2024 Budget: N1.6bn is for Maintenance of Nigeria’s Trade Office in Geneva, Not for Foreign Trip – Trade Minister

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka has debunked media reports claiming N1.6 billion in the ministry’s 2024 budget proposal was meant for a trip to Geneva, Switzerland and not for Nigeria’s trade office in that country.

The Minister who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media and Strategy Badejo Ademuyiwa, stated that the “media reports of a Foreign Trip to Geneva next year budgeted to cost 1 Billion Naira, is an extreme misrepresentation of the facts”.

According to the Minister, “there is no
line item in the proposed budget of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment referring to any foreign trip to Geneva.

“Rather, the only mention of “Geneva” in the proposed budget is with respect to the maintenance of the Nigerian Trade Office in Geneva, captured as “External Trade Sector, Geneva (WTO)”, which may have been misconstrued as “Foreign Trip to Geneva”.

Giving the breakdown of the total amount earmarked for the purpose, the Minister said the amount proposed for Nigeria’s Trade Office In Geneva in the appropriation for 2024 was N1,610,183,599, with Personnel Cost at N805, 379, 820, Overhead at N204, 058, 434, while the Capital stood at N600, 745, 345

She said Nigeria, as an active player in global trade maintains an office in Geneva responsible for representing and defending Nigeria’s multilateral trade interests in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), both headquartered in Geneva Switzerland.

Uzoka noted that the Nigerian Trade Office in Geneva has obligations, overhead and maintenance costs like any other organisation, that must be met.

“In fact, the current debt owed by the Nigeria Trade Office in Geneva as captured in the budget is N499,000,000.00, and it was deemed necessary to propose a budget that will service Nigeria’s outstanding debts in Geneva and maintain Nigeria’s respect and global standing amongst the comity of nations” she said.

The Minister however assured that the Ministry is committed to prudence, transparency and accountability.

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