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Tinubu meets Okonjo-Iweala, Pate at State House

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Tuesday met with the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the State House in Abuja.

The WTO director general was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by Dr Ali Pate, one of the president’s ministers-designate.

Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, said her meeting was private.

“This was not really an official WTO mission, but we were able to engage with Mr President to talk about what are the kinds of programmes that we could that could be put in place to make sure that we we had a conversation on trying to look at community and grassroots programmes that can be put in place to create jobs for young people trying to support women and children who are those who are bearing the brunt of some of the suffering in the country,” she said.

She said they also talked about long-term investment in several sectors including the pharmaceutical industry.

“We also talked about the what type of support the WTO, the World Trade Organization can bring. We are already working in Nigeria with women in particular, who own small and medium enterprises to try to help them upgrade the quality of their products, whether it’s in the agricultural area, textiles, and in other areas so that they can sell more internationally.

“We’re trying to help them with digital trade. The wave of the future is digital trade. So, how do we train and empower Nigerian women and small and medium enterprises throughout the country, create more jobs?

“That’s what’s needed now in Nigerians to alleviate these difficult conditions that they are in. So, that is what we discussed with Mr. President and as the Director General of the World Trade Organization, we’re going to try to do the most we can to support Nigerians at this particular time,” she said.

Also speaking, Dr Ali Pate the President is actively working to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians.

He said the difficulty is transitory as the President is committed to all invervention measures.

He also spoke on plans to promote grassroot programmes to support women and youth, and to prioritize health, particularly health insurance and primary healthcare.

“I think I’ll just reaffirm, that Mr. President is fully aware of the difficulties that people are facing, and committed and I think doing all that he can and with his team to ensure that those sufferings are alleviated.

“That was the main thrust of the conversation that we had in terms of targeting those who are most vulnerable, women, children, youth, attracting investment opportunities, that can grow the economy so that people will get some succour because the difficulties that we’re facing is transitory.

“I think with the vision of the President there’s reason to be very hopeful that we’ll navigate through this difficult time and have a Nigeria that sees us stronger, united and conspired to the greatness that is in our future.

“So Mr. President also discussed with us some of the vision on health that he has and I think is great to see that health is one area where it connects everyone.

“Health affects everyone from the policy side, regulatory side, pharmaceuticals and quality of pharmaceuticals, the financing side, in terms of financial protection, health insurance, and all those elements, primary health care in every nook and cranny of this country, folks have ailments like malaria, vaccinations, treatment of basic diseases with primary healthcare system, as well as hospital care, which is very important.

“Because sometimes you have primary health care at the front ends you also have higher levels, care that is offered to tertiary facilities. And Mr President is very committed to all those policy interventions, not only on health, but in all other arenas that will bring succour to this country and to move our economy for the greatness that is in our future,” he said.

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