TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigeria: Country Can Take Advantage of AGOA to Export

Friday, 02 March 2007

Source: Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, has said that Nigeria can take advantage of the AGOA law and export the products to the United States and beyond with the establishment of the Human Capital Development Centre/AGOA Training School set up by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

The minister made this remark at the commissioning of the Human Capital Development Center/AGOA Training School set up by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to train Nigerians in the process of commercial garment production.

Modibbo, in an address at the official commissioning of the Human Capital Development Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos, reminded the audience that the corner stone of the U.S. trade relations with African countries is the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which was signed into Law on May 18, 2000, by President Bill Clinton.

He said the aim of the Bill is to promote increase in trade and investment between the USA and the sub-Saharan African countries by providing eligible African countries with unrestricted liberal access to the U.S. market, adding that "products of these eligible countries will have quota-free and duty-free access to the U.S. market."

He stressed that the AGOA bill also "promotes economic development and reforms in sub-Saharan African, moving across a wide range of industries and granting tangible benefits to entrepreneurs, farmers and families and seeks to promote increased access and opportunities for U.S. investors and businesses in sub-Saharan African."

Modibbo noted that with the AGOA advantage, "Nigerian products can enter the American market relatively cheaper than their counter-parts from non-beneficiary countries and, thus, increase profit for the wise importers."

"In the textile and apparel category, Nigeria was the first country to be granted the Category 9 certification by the U.S. which allows us to export our African prints and other folklore and hand loomed fabrics to the U.S. This means that native Nigerian wares like adire, ankara, buba, kaftan, agbada and the likes can enter duty free to the U.S. market."

Commending the NEPC and the SAP/CEO, Mrs. G. M. Sasore, for the foresight in setting up the training school which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, the minister said "Nigerians who wish to go into commercial production and export of apparel can attend the school freely to learn from seasoned instructors in the field and gain experience from perform-ing exporters," saying that the project would go a long way in boosting the efforts of government to achieve growth in the non-oil export sector.

... as NEPC's boss calls on entrepreneurs to invest in apparel production

Special Adviser to the President on Export Programmes and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. Modupe Sasore, has called on Nigerian entrepreneurs to invest in the apparel production in order to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act before it expires in 2015.

In a keynote address at the commissioning of the Human Capital Development Centre at the NEPC's training school, Sasore noted that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in exploring the U.S. market for apparel as less-endowed countries have successfully penetrated the U.S. market for apparel.

According to her, Nigeria's hand-loomed fabrics, hand-loomed articles (e.g., hand-loomed rugs, scarves, place mats, and tablecloths), handmade articles made from hand-loomed fabrics, the folklore articles have been granted duty free access to the U.S. market.

Thanking the U.S. government for extending the third country fabric provision from 2007 to year 2012, she noted that it would go a long way in enhancing the competitiveness of sub-Saharan African apparel in the U.S. market. She said NEPC would continue to take necessary steps in collaboration with relevant agencies to ensure that obstacles to smooth outflow of goods and services are removed. She called on the Nigerian Customs Service to step up its surveillance of the country's border to check the activities of smugglers to salvage domestic textiles and clothing market.

Sasore explained that the Centre was established with the aim of creating a model factory for the production of apparel for export under the AGOA and other export markets, stressing also that AGOA is an Act promulgated by the USA that enhances market access for over 7,000 tariff lines of products for 38 sub-Saharan African countries.

AGOA, she emphasised, provides a unique opportunity for:

The promotion of increased trade and investment between the U.S. and sub-Saharan African countries;

Promotion of economic development and reforms in sub-Saharan Africa;

Promotion of increased market access for African produced goods and opportunities for U.S. investors and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.

The U.S. market is valued at over $12 trillion, of which apparel represents over $70 billion. Presently, under the AGOA, some beneficiary countries have been able to maximize the provision for 3rd country fabric inputs to expand their apparel export to the United States and, Nigeria, being a major textile producing country, can also maximize our strength by producing apparel for export.

As part of its effort at achieving its objectives of trade promotion and development and realizing that the best export performers in the international market are high-technology and skill sensitive products and services, the Council has set up the Human Capital Development Centre to train young Nigerians in commercial garment production for export. The training is free of charge for the beneficiaries who are drawn from all states of the federation and will be done in batches.

The aim of this project is two-fold. Firstly, given the current economic situation of the country where more than 70% of the populace live below the poverty line, this training will help the beneficiaries to acquire skills in garment making and make them self-sufficient. In this way, the Council would be contributing its quota to ensuring that trade reform brings benefit to poor people. Secondly, the council aims to provide a model factory in apparel production suitable for replication in other parts of the country.

The specific objectives of the projects are:

(i) To build the capacity of Nigerian garment producers to become more competitive and effective in their production of apparel for export;

(ii) To inculcate international best practices in apparel production to meet the demands of the international market places.

(iii) Create a pool of skilled labour personnel for employment by garment manufacturers; and,

(iv) Provide facilities for e-commerce in apparel export in line with current international best practices.



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of Nigeria’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.