TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigerian Minister Says Africa Could Reap $60bn from AGOA

Thursday, 23 October 2003

Source: Daily Trust (Abuja)

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Saidu Samaila Sambawa, has urged African countries to take maximum advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

He said that African countries could reap up to 60 billion dollars in trade with the U.S under AGOA.

The minister was speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after participating in the UN General Assembly debate on economic growth of Africa.

He explained that enormous labour and textile potential in the continent could form the basis of the new trade deal with the U.S.

"AGOA has created an opportunity for the U.S and African countries to benefit from duty-free and quota-free markets," he said, stressing that trade was one of the bedrock of modern economic development.

The Minister said that the National Assembly had already ratified necessary legislative segments of AGOA to make it possible for Nigerian entrepreneurs to do business under the Act.

He explained that President Olusegun Obas-anjo had a passion for the economic revival of the country.

"As chairman of the implementation committee of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), Obasanjo is determined to see Nigeria through as an economic giant," he said.

The minister called on the countries of the EU to grant trade concessions similar to those provided under the AGOA, to remove existing discriminations in international trade and to facilitate their support for Africa's economic progress.

Samaila also suggested the restructuring of NEPAD, to include the establishment of a standing committee to carry out the daily routine of the body before its eventual transfer as an organ of the African Union.

"There should be a permanent committee properly funded to execute the daily affairs of NEPAD to reduce the role of Heads of States to summits and update on its activities," he said.

He added that such a reform would ensure that the Peer Review Mechanism of NEPAD would not face any set back.