AGOA Forum: Nigerian Entrepreneur seeks removal of barriers on AGOA

AGOA Forum: Nigerian Entrepreneur seeks removal of barriers on AGOA
Published
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 ~ Peter Onwubuariri

An Abuja-based Agriculture entrepreneur, Mrs Esta Charles-Ayede, has urged the U.S Government to remove barriers inhibiting some African countries from fully utilising the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA).

Ayede made the submission at a roundtable between local entrepreneurs in Abuja and the U.S Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams.

The discussion was held via a Digital Video Conference (DVC) between Washington D.C and Abuja.

It coincided with by President Barack Obama announcement on Tuesday, of $33 billions in new investments for Africa at the ongoing U.S-Africa summit in Washington D.C.

Obama also announced that his administration would work with congress for a long term extension of AGOA to boost the investment climate in Africa.

Ayede, an expert in agriculture logistics and warehousing, said for AGOA to fully benefit Nigerian businesses the American government must do something urgent on the standardisation of products.

“Most of our women have attempted exporting agro-based produce to America and they have suffered huge losses because of standardisation.

“They take these products to America and when they get there they are told senile is too much in the garri or the yam is not up to standard and they incur a lot of losses.

She urged American firms to set up their laboratories locally in Nigeria to encourage Nigerian exporters to test their products here.

She encouraged American firms to invest in non-oil sector businesses in Nigeria such as agriculture and “forget the oil-based business,” which currently accounts for 90 per cent of trade between Nigeria and U.S.

“They can invest agro-mechanisation because agriculture in Nigeria is still largely subsistent and not yet commercial.

“We have a lot of land and Nigerian soil is one that grows everything but what we need is the expertise, equipment and the laboratories to test our products to attain international standards for export,” she said.

Williams pledged that U.S government would continue to promote partnership between U.S-based firms and Nigerian firms with a view to promoting best practices to improve trade.

AGOA allows 6,400 products from eligible Sub-Saharan African countries to enter the U.S. duty free.

According to U.S Department of Commerce, in 2013, U.S imports under AGOA totaled $26.8 billion.

However, since its inception over the last 14 years, Nigeria had yet to fully benefit from it’s because of a myriad of factors, including standardisation and access to finance.

View related news articles

'Funding challenges undermine SMEs’ growth in Africa'

Analysts who spoke at a recent webinar organised by the American Business Council in Nigeria, in collaboration with US Chamber of Commerce, Amcham Ghana and Amcham South Africa on the US-Africa relations, have identified lack of adequate funding as a major challenge to the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. The analysts were of the view that SMEs across Africa are faced with serious funding challenges, despite their...

30 July 2021

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 it urged the government to address environmental challenges limiting...

19 February 2021

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 relations are concerned.  The US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission,...

23 January 2021

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 corresponding period in 2020. The AGOA, a United States’ trade policy, enacted...

27 December 2020

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 the eligible products and acceptable standards by the American...

16 December 2020

'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 corresponding period in 2020. The AGOA, a United States’ trade policy,...

23 October 2020

'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 duration to 2015. Then on June 29, 2015, former US President Barack Obama...

13 July 2020

Nigeria and the benefits of reviving cotton sector

In the 1980s and 1990s, Nigeria had, unarguably, one of Africa’s largest textile industry with over 180 textile mills functioning optimally, employing close to over 450,000 workers and contributing in excess of 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector. Sadly, that once vibrant textile industry, due to lack of vision on the part of those managing the economy at some point in time, became a shadow of its former self as most of...

18 March 2020

Nigeria can harvest $2bn from yearly spices export

Professor Haruna Dikko Ibrahim is the Director-General Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) Abuja. In this interview, he explains the huge potentials Nigeria can generate from the export of spices.  Excerpts: Can you give us an idea into the global trade of spices? The global seasonings and spices market is on an upward trend.  The spice market was valued at about USD 15.11 billion in 2017 and is expected to...

18 August 2019

Nigeria: ‘US-African trade lagging despite free market access’

Trade between the US and sub-Saharan Africa is in the doldrums despite a 2000 US law designed to boost access to the US market, a conference on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has shown. AGOA, which in 2015 was extended to 2025, provides tariff-free access on 6,500 products to 39 countries, ranging from oil and agricultural goods to textiles, farm and handicrafts. Trade quadrupled in value from 2002 to 2008, a year when it...

14 August 2019

Nigeria: Provide us warehouse in US, AGOA food exporters task Fed Government

Exporters of food products have called on the Federal Government to assist in providing enabling environment for easy export to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The exporters bared their minds at a recent Stakeholder’s roundtable meeting held at the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Apapa, Lagos. Organised by the AGOA Trade Resource Center (ATRC), the meeting featured Food and Drug...

30 July 2019