Nigeria works to gain from AGOA
THE Nigerian government has approved the establishment of the Nigerian Apparel and Footwear Project, an initiative aimed at taking advantage of the US-sponsored Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
Nigerian Commerce Minister Mustapha Bello said the project, established under the US-Nigeria Development Institute, was part of the government's mediumterm commitment towards realising $500m in nonoil exports to the US by the end of next year.
He said the project's overall objective was to improve the manufacturing facilities, workforce and supporting infrastructure of that country's seven selected apparel firms and three footwear companies to international standards.
"This is being done so that Nigeria will be able to produce goods that can compete in the US market on the basis of price, quality as well as timeliness of delivery," said Bello at a one-day seminar in Abuja.
He said the firms would be developed as model factories with respect to management practices, plant and equipment, as well as a productive workforce capable of competing in the US.
David Krzywdaa, an economic attaché at the US embassy, said the US government had spent more than $20m in the past two years in Nigeria on projects aimed at building the country's capacity to trade internationally under Agoa.
Signed into law on May 18, 2000 by former US President Bill Clinton, Agoa is intended to make it easier to sell goods from Sub-Saharan Africa in the US.