Nigeria: US visa procedures discourage exports - minister

The strict procedures in obtaining the United States Visa discourage Nigeria's business men from exporting to the US, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Engineer Charles C. Ugwuh has said.

In his key note address at the 5th session of the Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) council meeting and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), workshop in Abuja, the Minister said the idea of booking online appointment for interviews at the U S Embassy as a condition for the procurement of visa needs to be changed because it has frustrated many business men with genuine intention.

"Businessmen from Nigeria find it difficult to obtain visas to travel to the U S for business. I therefore believed that U S Visa problem in Nigeria could be solved by a Visa Protocol Agreement between the countries so that businessmen with genuine intention will have unfettered access to visas in order to travel to U S" he said.

He said the Industrialization Policy of the current administration is to develop our infrastructural facilities to support the manufacturing sector to be able to produce both for local consumption and export. He called on the U S Government to avail Nigerian manufacturers with their technical expertise on its packaging specifications and standards.

"U S investors are invited to collaborate in getting the petrochemical units of the existing refineries refurbished" he said.

Ugwuh also noted that, the exit of Nigeria from the Paris and London Clubs of creditors has reduced deficit often found in the budget.

The Deputy Chief of Mission U S Embassy, Lisa Piascik, said the performance of Nigeria's exports under the AGOA has not been very encouraging due to poor infrastructure as well as inefficient reforms.

"High tariff penalizes local exporters" she said.

She said the workshop will discuss the challenges of Nigeria's export competitiveness and find practical solutions to take advantage of export and investment opportunities under AGOA.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Nigeria’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.