TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Nigeria: Partnering to enlighten local SMEs on export compliance issues

Thursday, 05 September 2013

Source: Business Day (Nigeria)

In furtherance of its commitment to develop local productive capacity and encourage export of Nigerian made products, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has partnered the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on free training of local producers on the specifics of regulatory requirements for exports to America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

AGOA was signed into law on May 18, 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act of 2000. The Act offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.

Speaking at a seminar organised for Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) operators at BOI corporate headquarters in Lagos, Ogochukwu Mainasara, director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate, NAFDAC, enjoined participants to comply with regulatory standards, stressing that the only difference between Nigerian made products and imported products was compliance with standards.

Describing food safety as the assurance that any food is safe, Mainasara expressed concern that Nigerian SMEs had not reaped the full benefits of the AGOA, adding that a lot of food products exported to Europe and America suffer rejection due to non-compliance with regulatory standards as spelt by the agency.

While noting that Sam and Sara, a firm into garment production, had already keyed in to the AGOA initiative and had commenced exports of its products to the US and with a target to employ about 3,000 over the next five years, she enjoined local manufacturers to obtain certifications from NAFDAC before exporting their products to save them losses arising from product rejections in foreign markets.

According to her, a potential exporter requires about five free export certificates from the agency covering combined certificate of manufacturing and free trade; health certificate for semi-processed and processed commodities; export approval for personal items, among others.

“Right now we are having issues with the European Union. They are rejecting our melon seeds. The European Union has told us that if we don’t get our acts right, they will ban melon seed outright. We have passed a law that it must undergo 100 per cent testing in Nigeria before we could certify it for export,” Mainasara said.

View related news articles

NACC restates commitment to trade ties between Nigeria, United States

NACC restates commitment to trade ties between Nigeria, United States

With less than five years to the end of the extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Nigeria enjoys the benefit of the scheme. With the change of the United States political leadership, the Chamber is hopeful that ties between the two countries would improve, even as...

19 February, 2021
Nigeria: ‘Prospects of improved supports from US bright under Biden’

Nigeria: ‘Prospects of improved supports from US bright under Biden’

Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, told DEBO OLADIMEJI that he expects more support for Nigeria from the United States (US) under the Biden administration.  What are the economic implications of Joe Biden Presidency For Nigeria?There is likely to be some positive changes as far as bilateral economic and trade...

23 January, 2021
Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $351m

Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $351m

Nigeria’s export to the United States under a duty-free policy declined in the first nine months of 2020, recording $351.73m from January to September. According to the latest African Growth and Opportunity Act policy trade statistics, exports to the US under the policy fell by 86.97 per cent from $2,699.13m in the first nine months of 2019 to $351.73m in the...

27 December, 2020
Chamber plans business parks to deepen US-Nigerian trade relations

Chamber plans business parks to deepen US-Nigerian trade relations

The Nigerian America Chamber of Commerce says it is planning to establish parks in states for businesses to benefit from the duty-free Africa Growth Opportunities Act of the United States government. The President, NACC, Otunba Toyin Akomolafe, during a courtesy visit to The PUNCH head office in Ogun State on Tuesday said the parks would be a platform to create awareness of...

16 December, 2020
'Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $300m'

'Nigeria’s duty-free export to US shrinks to $300m'

Nigeria’s export to the United States under a duty-free policy declined in the first eight months of 2020, recording $300.48m from January to August. According to the latest African Growth and Opportunity Act policy trade statistics, exports to the US under the duty-free policy fell by 88 per cent from $2,502.86m in the first eight months of 2019 to $300.48m in the...

23 October, 2020
'The strategic importance of AGOA'

'The strategic importance of AGOA'

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States bipartisan trade legislation that was signed into law on May 18, 2000 by former US President Bill Clinton – it means AGOA is 20 years old this year. Initially, the Act was planned to last for eight years but former President George Bush signed legislative amendments into law in July 2004 and extended the...

13 July, 2020