Take advantage of AGOA to boost exports, Minister urges Nigerians
The Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Adeniyi Adebayo has urged Nigerians to take advantage of the African Growth Opportunity Act, (AGOA).
Adebayo said this when he received the report of the Technical Committee on the utilization of AGOA in Abuja on Tuesday.
The report which was delivered by the Co-chairman of the Committee and Director of Trade, FMITI Suleiman Audu on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee and Director General of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Ezra Yakusak stated that the Committee developed a Work Plan with eight major proposed programmes and activities.
Audu said during the course of actualizing the work plan, the committee identified six focal sectors that need effective coordination and actualization across the six geopolitical zones.
The sectors according to Audu are, the Agro-products; cosmetics based on shea butter and coconut oil extracts; textile garments; processed food and beverages; leather and leather products; and art and craft.
Audu said, “There is an increasing demand for them in the US market; there is huge production capacity and can easily be sourced; the products are covered under the AGOA eligibility products; the products are MSMEs inclusive; the sectors are supported by US Trade Facilitation Agencies; they have gained acceptability in the US market; and the required standards are easily attainable by MSMEs and are cost-effective.”
He said these sectors could reach their full potential if the following recommendations for the effective and efficient realization of the set goals by the Committee are implemented.
The recommendations by the committee are “Approve in the short-run a shared pilot implementation scheme for the feasible first two key activities on the Work plan programs.
“Immediate consideration and approval of special intervention funds and other sources for the full implementation of the work budget, and provision of grants to exporters for optimal facilitation of AGOA export.
“Establish necessary contacts for efficient cooperation with US firms and organizations like Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Federal Trade Commission amongst others.”
“Also in line with the work plan an estimated budget of ₦590,000,000, is contained in the report” he added.