Adetola Onayemi, LLB, LLM (Cambridge) is Head, Trade Remedies & Assistant Chief Negotiator at the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), the office with sole responsibility for “leading Nigeria’s trade negotiations” and which chaired the negotiating rounds that resulted in the single market for goods and services in Africa, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), with a population of 1.2 billion Africans, a projected GDP of US$ 3 trillion, and the largest trading bloc in the global economy since the WTO in 1995. Adetola participated in the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB), Trade Remedies and Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT) select committees in the AfCFTA Negotiating Forum. He is Nigeria’s foremost international lawyer on international trade, investment, tech and the AfCFTA.
Adetola also designed the first-ever Trade Remedies Infrastructure for protecting the Nigerian economy from injurious and unfair trading practices from foreign countries and companies, with technical support from one of the biggest law firms in the world, King & Spalding LLP, at no cost to the Nigerian government. The Trade Remedies Infrastructure was approved by the Nigerian Economic Management Team in October 2018, and is projected to increase the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers by 50%. Within the NOTN, Adetola leads a 8-person team with responsibility for operationalising the Nigerian Trade Remedies Unit.
Prior to the NOTN, he served as Special Assistant on Industry, Trade and Investment in the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. At that time, he also doubled as a Reform Leader within the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), and led reforms across several of the World Bank indicators nationally (and particularly in Lagos and Kano). Thanks to this efforts, Nigeria moved up 24 ranks in the World Bank global 2018 Ease of Doing Business ranking.
Over the last 4 years, Adetola has been involved in setting up 3 major government interventions of the Nigerian government, namely, the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (which leads Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business efforts), the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (which leads Nigeria’s trade negotiations), and the Nigerian Trade Remedies Infrastructure (which investigates allegations of unfair trading practices by foreign companies and countries).