TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigera 'will not miss out on AGOA again'

Friday, 17 November 2017 Published: | Ambrose Nnaji

Source: The Nation (Nigeria)

National President, Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Olabitan Famutimi, has said Nigeria will not miss out again on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

He stated this during the NACC Member’s Induction/Member’s Evening held in Lagos, during the week.

AGOA is a United States (US) Trade Act to enhance market access to the US for qualified sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

According to Famutimi, qualification for AGOA preferences is based on a set of conditions contained in the legislation, and in order to qualify and remain eligible for AGOA, each country must work to improve its rule of law, human rights, and respect for core labour standards.

After completing its the 15-year period of validity, the AGOA legislation was extended by a another 10 years, to 2025.

Famutimi, who regretted that Nigeria did not perform well under AGOA in the first 15 years of its existence, however, assured that efforts were being made by the chamber to drive the project.

He said: “We at NACC took it that we are going to change the narrative. We are going to put efforts in ensuring that Nigeria doesn’t miss out again.”

The NACC president expressed  dissatisfaction that Nigeria was only busy exporting crude under the AGOA and pretending as if she was participating in it, whereas she was not.

He said this was as many of the other Sub-Saharan African countries who were AGOA inclusive did a lot more.

“Now that crude has ended its better days we are now insisting that we will perform under AGOA and we are doing very well”, Famutimi reassured.

He said NACC has done a lot of training, workshops, sensitisation, participated in international fora and worked effectively with the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Famutimi said the Act was to encourage African countries in economic development by allowing all their different types of products (6400) produced by countries in the sub-Saharan Africa to be able to sell, ship and export their products to the US duty free so that they would become very competitive.

He said Nigeria’s exporters to the US had increased far more than before, adding however, they were mainly small companies.

Famutimi added that arrangements are being made for small producers to join together so as to increase their capacity.

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