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Nigeria: AGOA products not competitive in USA

Published date:
Friday, 02 July 2010

The harsh condition of doing business in Nigeria makes it difficult for her products to be competitive in the United States which is one of the reasons why the country has not been able to utilize the opportunity provided by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),a US consultant, Prof. Thomas Andrew O'Keefe has said.

He made the remarks yesterday in Abuja at AGOA interactive forum with the theme: "Entrepreneurship and AGOA: Why Nigerian businesses should export to the US," organized by Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

AGOA provides duty free and quota free market preferences for about 6,400 products including apparels, footwear and nuts among others from Sub-Saharan African countries to the United States' markets until 2015.

Professor O'Keefe said the World Bank's 2010 special report on doing business in Nigeria was not encouraging as the country ranks number 125 out of 183.

He said: "One of the problems as highlighted by the report is the cost and time consume in registering a company. In Nigeria it cost about 80 percent of an average Nigerian annual salary to register a company and takes almost a month compare with Mauritius which is very successful in AGOA. In Mauritius, it costs about 4 percent of annual income of an average worker to register a company."

He said with all the attendant infrastructural problems like power, transport, delay in ports etc all added up the cost of production which makes the goods less competitive in the United States markets.

He said as the programme comes to an end in 2015, there is the likelihood for the US Government to either extent it for another period or indefinitely or replace it with a bilateral trade arrangement.

The United states imports from Sub-Saharan Africa under AGOA were $66.3 billion in 2008, about 29.9 percent more than in 2007. Out of the amount, US oil imports accounted for 92 percent of the $66.3 bilion, while non-oil imports accounted for 7.7 percent or just $5 billion.

Nigeria ranks 8th out of the 40 AGOA beneficiary countries in 2008 exports of agricultural products to US.

Nigeria's leading AGOA non-oil products to the US includes, shea butter, shrimps, cahew nuts, ginger, gum Arabic, cocoa products and local foods.

“ 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.

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