TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigeria: 'Many manufacturers don’t know much about AGOA' — NEPC

Sunday, 14 October 2018 Published: | Success Nwogu

Source: The Punch (Nigeria)

The Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr Segun Awolowo,  has said many indigenous industrialists and manufacturers do not know much about what it takes to export under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

He also stated that value addition and manufacturing of world-class products would enhance their global competitiveness.

Awolowo spoke through the  Head of AGOA Desk, NEPC Zonal Office, Mrs Bolanle Emmanuel, during a workshop on ‘Understanding AGOA’s procedures and documentation’ on Thursday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

He said, “People have heard about AGOA but they do not know what it really takes to export under AGOA. Information is very important, a lot do not know the requirements as I speak. A lot of manufacturers and even processors do not know.”

The NEPC boss said the AGOA programme  had been on for several years, adding that Nigerian exporters should take advantage of it.

He stated that most of other sub-Saharan African countries had benefited from AGOA, adding that Nigerian exporters should  know all the requirements.

Awolowo said, “That is why we are enlightening our people on what to do to export under AGOA.

“If you have a facility, and you want to export food items, your facility must be registered. But a lot of our people are not aware of that and they do not even have the special number. Some of them feel that it is cumbersome; they cannot do it. How will they go about it? People who are not technically savvy may not want to go through the rigours of registering their facility online, talkless of getting the numbers. “That is why you have experts that will assess the facility, see what they have in place before the registration and assist them in getting their facilities registered and having the number for their products.”

He stressed the need for value addition on products before export “because when you add value to a particular product before exporting, you have more earnings than exporting raw.

“We do not want to promote export of raw materials but we are promoting export of finished products, and value-added products.”

Awolowo also said, “Manufacturers should go more for value-added products so that they can be more competitive internationally.”

The State coordinator, Trade Promotion Advisor for Ilorin, Kwara State, Mr Andrew Okhiulu, also said value addition would make indigenous industrialists to be able to fix prices.

He urged industrialists to add value and standardise their products to compete favourably globally.

Okhiulu said, “The basic thing is for us to grow our economy and for us to get out of the state of exporting raw produce. We need to add value. It is a message we are preaching and what we are creating sensitisation.

“Nigerians generally can do very well and our products could become more competitive at the international market. The more we add value, the more it becomes more profitable than just doing raw commodities and raw products.

“We are making the buyers to be more advantaged when we are not adding value but we now take the advantage when we add value to the products. For you to be the price giver, you need to add value.”

 

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