TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigeria: Country must make more of AGOA

Thursday, 08 March 2007

Source: Vanguard (Nigeria)

The president of the Nigerian- American Chamber of Commerce/Chairman Presidential Committee on Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Ambassador Olufemi Ani, has urged manufacturers and exporters in the country to brace up for exportation of 6,400 non- oil products to more than 38 million African- American in the United States under the introduction of the initiative almost seven years ago.

AGOA is an American legislation that came into effect May 2000. Its initial life span expires next year, and has been extended to year 2015. Under the scheme, countries eligible for benefits include Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun and 29 other countries in the Sub-Saharan.

Addressing participants, Monday, in Lagos, during a two- day seminar organised by the chamber in collaboration with Multimix Export Agency and the U.S. Commercial Service, Amb. Ani, who said the country has met all conditions specified for eligibility by the US government, stated that although, Nigeria has always been largest beneficiary in the export of oil and petroleum products to the US, it performed poorly in non-oil exports compared to countries like Lesotho, Kenya, Mauritus, Angola and Ghana.

He urged the nation’s exporters to brace up for improved performance this year and beyond, pointing out that, “There is no doubt in my mind that Nigerian firms and Nigeria as a whole have a lot to benefit from active participation in the African Growth and Opportunities Act.”

He said one of the keys that will help to facilitate active participation is an increase in accessibility by exporters to information, awareness and support.

“In our way we at the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce are providing this support through the establishment of the Nigerian AGOA Resource Center, located at our office in Lagos.”

The AGOA Resource Centre, he explained, is a partnership with West Africa Trade Hub, Ghana, a sub-office of the USAID. “The center has since been responding to the needs of the public, especially as it relates to AGOA. The Resource Centre provides members and non- members alike with quality information that is both relevant and timely. It also from time to time stage programs and activities designed to enhance the capacity of potential exporters who wish to take advantage of AGOA,” he disclosed.

Also speaking, Commercial Officer the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Mrs. Hannah Kamenetsky, said partnership between the Federal Government and the country’s Organised Private Sector (OPS), will go along way to fast track export of Nigerian products to the States, under the Generalised Systems of Products.

Represented by Senior Commercial Specialist US Embassy, Mr. Anayo Agu, the Commercial Officer said “Our job primarily is to help exporters in US to understand Nigerian market and vice-versa.”

Agu, who spoke on ‘Doing Business with US’, said Nigerian exporters had better look beyond exporting of just textile materials to the States, saying no way Nigeria can beat Ghana or China in Textile.

He advised Nigerian exporters to focus on other items listed among the 6,400 products in which the nation has comparative advantages such as exporting of quality Home Videos to the US.

Commenting on ‘Showcase America 2007', he said “Showcase America is an annual trade-only exhibition to promote, demonstrate, support and sell products and services from the United States that are available in Nigeria for West Africa.”

He said U.S. products and services are known worldwide for their high quality standards and cost effectiveness. Nigerians and resident aliens in Nigeria have high regard for these products and services because of their reliability, cost effectiveness and user-friendliness. The growing demand and popularity of U.S.origin products and services in various sectors of the Nigerian market clearly show that with an improved commercial environment, Nigerian and American firms will have greater opportunities in forming long-term, mutually beneficial relationships necessary to succeed in doing business in an emerging economy such as Nigeria.

“We believe that American firms can contribute most effectively to Nigeria’s current reforms by building partnerships and reaching out to the Nigerian private sector in the areas that America knows best: private enterprise, investment capital, technology transfer and management,” he said.



“ 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.