Burna Boy, Wizkid are examples of export services — Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has congratulated Nigerian duo Burna Boy and Wizkid on winning awards at the 2021 Grammys, saying such creative art should be encouraged for exportation.

Mrs OKonjo-Iweala stated this on Tuesday in Abuja while meeting with captains of industries. She added that with Nigeria’s large number of educated people, it has a comparative advantage in services with room to improve.

Burna Boy won the Best Global Music Album category with his 2020 album Twice as Tall executive-produced by American rapper and businessman Diddy. The Afro-fusion star won the award on the second time of asking after his 2019 album African Giant got same nomination in 2020, but lost to Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo.

Wizkid, on the other hand, won the Grammy award for Best Video for his collaboration with Beyonce on ‘Brown Skin Girl’ off her album Lion King: The Gift.

Okonjo-Iweala described the entertainment industry as a vibrant services sector embodied by artistes, writers and the new generation of Nigerian musicians, actors and filmmakers.

She said: “Recently Nigeria’s Burna Boy and Wizkid won the Grammy award for their music and I will like to congratulate and applaud them because they are examples of services we can export.

“We are exporting so much of our creative arts abroad and this seems to be encouraged.”

Okonjo-Iweala arrived in Nigeria on Saturday, March 13. It is her first official visit to Nigeria since she assumed office as WTO DG on March 1.

President Muhammadu Buhari also spoke on Burna Boy and Wizkid’s win at the Grammys.

A statement on Monday, March 15 by his spokesman Garba Shehu said: “The President believes that the record breaking musical achievements are a recognition of the Nigerian creative talents and the awards will open doors to other aspiring citizens.”