NACC restates commitment to trade ties between Nigeria, United States

NACC restates commitment to trade ties between Nigeria, United States
Friday, 19 February 2021 ~ Femi Adekoya

With less than five years to the end of the extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Nigeria enjoys the benefit of the scheme.

With the change of the United States political leadership, the Chamber is hopeful that ties between the two countries would improve, even as it urged the government to address environmental challenges limiting Nigeria’s export potential.

According to the NACC President, Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, the Chamber is poised to promote business relationships between Nigeria and the U.S.

Preparatory to its 60th anniversary scheduled to commence later this month with courtesy visits to its members and stakeholders, Akomolafe at a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, said the Chamber has consolidated itself as a virile trade channel between Nigeria and the U.S. in the 60 years of its existence, adding that the NACC maintains close relations with the commercial section of the United States Embassy as well as other stakeholders.

“More than 60 years on, NACC has grown into a dynamic organisation. It stands as a pillar of the relationship between the United States and Nigeria, serving as an important catalyst in bringing together people and ideas to bolster bilateral commercial relations between Nigeria and the United States.

“Our celebrations will thus be a year-long event comprising several activities. Most of these activities will be executed as hybrid events. This means these activities will have very limited physical attendance. The majority of participants would be encouraged to join online via zoom or any other suitable application/platform”, he added.

Akomolafe also emphasised the need for non-oil exporters to embrace higher standards while exploring the U.S. markets, saying: “Our members stand to gain a lot more with higher standards of exports and better access to finance under the AGOA project but that is currently being addressed by the chamber through education and training of members.”

The Federal Government had in 2018 begun the implementation strategy to ensure that non-oil products are duly accepted in the U.S. under AGOA.

The products that are being considered for export under AGOA include sesame seed, cashew, tomatoes, oranges, cassava, spices and ginger.

Others are shea butter, cowpea, banana, plantain, cement, clinker, leather and articles of leather, arts and handicrafts, specialty foods and cocoa.

The United States had earlier expressed concerns about the performance of the scheme, noting that petroleum products continued to account for the largest portion of AGOA imports, with a 67 per cent share.

For exporters looking to explore the U.S. markets, Akomolafe explained that the chamber was an AGOA resource centre and works with the commercial arm of the U.S. Embassy and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in assisting its members with standards, among others to boost export of non-oil and agro-allied products to the United States.

On her part, Dame Adebola Williams acknowledged Nigeria’s late implementation of the AGOA scheme adding that the chamber is striving to help businesses optimise the benefits.

NACC Director-General, Sola Obadimu added that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) offers the United States an opportunity to seal a common trade deal with the continent.

agoa business connector

View related news articles

'Safety issues and Nigeria’s agricultural export potential'

Sir: Growing Nigeria’s non-oil export is critical to the much-sought economic growth, employment and poverty reduction. Not least, in light of the reality of hydrocarbon resources losing its reliability and honoured position as a revenue source. Over the years, this realisation has spawned myriad of non-export campaigns, commentaries as well as other initiatives aimed at creating export opportunities for developing countries like...

06 October 2021

Nigeria: How exporters can boost non-oil export with e-commerce - NEPC

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked exporters in the country to explore e-commerce to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export sector and reach global markets. The Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Mr Samuel Oyeyipo, made the call while speaking at a sensitization workshop organized by the agency in Lagos themed Earn Dollars by Selling on Amazon. Speaking on the situation caused by the global pandemic on Nigerian...

14 September 2021

'Funding challenges undermine SMEs’ growth in Africa'

Analysts who spoke at a recent webinar organised by the American Business Council in Nigeria, in collaboration with US Chamber of Commerce, Amcham Ghana and Amcham South Africa on the US-Africa relations, have identified lack of adequate funding as a major challenge to the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. The analysts were of the view that SMEs across Africa are faced with serious funding challenges, despite their...

30 July 2021

Nigeria: ‘Prospects of improved supports from US bright under Biden’

Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, told DEBO OLADIMEJI that he expects more support for Nigeria from the United States (US) under the Biden administration.  What are the economic implications of Joe Biden Presidency For Nigeria?There is likely to be some positive changes as far as bilateral economic and trade relations are concerned.  The US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission,...

23 January 2021

Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $351m

Nigeria’s export to the United States under a duty-free policy declined in the first nine months of 2020, recording $351.73m from January to September. According to the latest African Growth and Opportunity Act policy trade statistics, exports to the US under the policy fell by 86.97 per cent from $2,699.13m in the first nine months of 2019 to $351.73m in the corresponding period in 2020. The AGOA, a United States’ trade policy, enacted...

27 December 2020

Chamber plans business parks to deepen US-Nigerian trade relations

The Nigerian America Chamber of Commerce says it is planning to establish parks in states for businesses to benefit from the duty-free Africa Growth Opportunities Act of the United States government. The President, NACC, Otunba Toyin Akomolafe, during a courtesy visit to The PUNCH head office in Ogun State on Tuesday said the parks would be a platform to create awareness of the eligible products and acceptable standards by the American...

16 December 2020

'Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $300m'

Nigeria’s export to the United States under a duty-free policy declined in the first eight months of 2020, recording $300.48m from January to August. According to the latest African Growth and Opportunity Act policy trade statistics, exports to the US under the duty-free policy fell by 88 per cent from $2,502.86m in the first eight months of 2019 to $300.48m in the corresponding period in 2020. The AGOA, a United States’ trade policy,...

23 October 2020

'Kenyan SMEs to win big if proposed FTA with the US is adopted' – AMCHAM

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the Free Trade Agreement that is currently being negotiated between the governments of Kenya and United States. American Chamber of Commerce in Kenya (AMCHAM) CEO Maxwell Okello says SMEs will benefit from increased trade opportunities for both export and import. According to the CEO, SMEs will have the opportunity to become distributors of American products,...

03 August 2020

'The strategic importance of AGOA'

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States bipartisan trade legislation that was signed into law on May 18, 2000 by former US President Bill Clinton – it means AGOA is 20 years old this year. Initially, the Act was planned to last for eight years but former President George Bush signed legislative amendments into law in July 2004 and extended the duration to 2015. Then on June 29, 2015, former US President Barack Obama...

13 July 2020

'US should avoid phased approach in trade talks with Kenya': Chamber of Commerce

The United States should work to achieve a single, comprehensive agreement with Kenya that removes barriers to trade and investment, instead of pursuing a phased approach, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a document viewed by Reuters. In comments submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center said a high-standard agreement that eliminated all tariffs would boost the long-term economic outlook for...

26 April 2020