Chief Trade Negotiator/Director General
Ambassador Yonov Fred Agah, Ph.D was appointed Director-General and Chief Trade Negotiator, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), for an Initial term of four years, with effect from 10th March, 2021. Before his current appointment, Ambassador Agah served as a Deputy Director-General at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1st October, 2013 - 31st March, 2021.
Ambassador Agah, was Nigeria’s Ambassador to the WTO from July 2005 to September 2013. In that capacity, he served as the Alternate Chief Negotiator for the Doha Round; and Head of Nigeria's Trade Office to the WTO in the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations Office at Geneva. The Trade Office is responsible for the coordination of Nigeria's participation in trade-related international organisations, particularly UN Conference on Trade Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the WTO.
He served as Chair of the WTO’s General Council in 2011; and was responsible for organising the Eighth WTO Ministerial Conference (MC8). He has also served as Chair of the following WTO bodies: Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) in 2010; Council for Trade in Services (CTS) in 2009; Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) in 2008; Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in 2007; and Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) in 2006. He was the Chair of the Council for TRIPS, Special Session from 2012 to 2013. Ambassador Agah also served as a Friend of the Chair (Facilitator) for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) negotiations, from 2012 to 2013.
Ambassador Agah had previously worked as Deputy Director (Multilateral) and, Director of External Trade at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment from 1991 to 2005; Field Manager, UTC PLC, from 1990 to 1991; Sales Manager, Benue Bottling Company Ltd, from 1984 to 1986; and Senior Features Writer/Circulation Manager, Benue Printing and Publishing Corporation, from 1982 to 1984. He had previously lectured at Kaduna Polytechnic, Advanced Teachers' College, Makurdi. and Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe (NYSC).
He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and Master of Science (M.Sc) in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Economics (International Trade) from the University of Jos, Nigeria. Amb. Agah also has a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. He has contributed to various books and journals. He is married with children.