TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

'AGOA can create over one million direct jobs in Nigeria'

Friday, 27 May 2016

Source: This Day (Nigeria)

The President of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Chief Olabintan Famutimi, has urged the federal government to expedite measures on implementing the extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) programme in Nigeria.

According to him, the implementation of the programme can generate over one million direct jobs.

Speaking at a business roundtable dinner in Lagos, the NACC president said more than ever before, Nigeria is desperate for economic diversification, noting "we have arrived at the point of no return in our quest for those critical tools that would help develop trade and commerce outside oil, strengthen and grow our small medium enterprises, our manufacturing sectors, and add value to growth."

According to him, implementing the AGOA programme will in a way address the challenges in the non-oil export sector in the country.

"It would also enable African countries to be engaged in the rules of origin to engender value-addition of raw materials as they could now include the cost of direct processing, as they share production from one country to another on their way to the United States market," he said.

He explained that "when the Act was established, the Nigerian private sector in particular, believed in the golden opportunity being offered to us by this Act to genuinely shift paradigms; think outside oil, invest in and develop our second economy."

He stated that nearly 15 years after the approval of AGOA, Nigeria's export to the US under this Act totaled a miserly $2.6 million when South Africa did in excess of $1.2 billion. According to him, petroleum products continued to account for the largest portion of US AGOA imports with a 69 per cent share of overall AGOA imports in 2014.

"In the same year, US imports decreased mostly oil from Nigeria by 67 per cent. It is therefore in understanding the reason for this downward spiral as attributable to the decline in US import of merchandise associated with oil, that the need to break the jinx of our dependence on oil as our key foreign exchange earner should equally be understood," he said.

Famutimi reiterated that AGOA can create more than one million direct jobs in Nigeria in a few years "if we get our act together. What AGOA can do for Nigeria in terms of job creation cannot be underscored. Since the passage of the Act, AGOA has generated about 350,000 direct jobs and 1,000,000 indirect jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa."

He noted that after completing its initial 15-year period of validity, AGOA was on 29th of June 2015 extended by a further 10 years, to 2025 which means that the US has graciously given us another 10 years to pump up our exports under AGOA and improve regional trade as well.

"With the 10-year extension, we can indeed continue to take advantage of the duty-free status afforded African goods entering the American market under AGOA, and investors can plan for the future," he said.

He, however, reassured stakeholders that NACC is determined not to let another 10 years of AGOA slip through its fingers.

"We have taken it as a key responsibility to ensure that we collaborate with public and private stakeholders in bringing the value of AGOA to our people. This sensitisation programme is only one of several steps in that direction. Through public-private partnerships, we must continue to find solutions to constraints to bilateral trade and commerce initiatives like AGOA," the NACC boss stated.

He therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment to put in place measures to ensure the effective implementation of AGOA in the country.

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
Nigeria and the benefits of reviving cotton sector

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...

18 March, 2020
Nigeria can harvest $2bn from yearly spices export

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...

18 August, 2019
Nigeria: Provide us warehouse in US, AGOA food exporters task Fed Government

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...

30 July, 2019
Nigeria: Take advantage of AGOA textile visa stamp, NEPC tasks garment manufacturers

Nigeria: Take advantage of AGOA textile visa stamp, NEPC tasks garment manufacturers

Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. Olusegun Awolowo has charged garment manufacturers to take full advantage of the recently launched AGOA Visa Stamp in Lagos. According to him, the exporters in the sector must not allow the golden opportunity slip away from them. Represented by the Deputy Director, National Export Office, NEPC, Mr....

18 June, 2019
AGOA textile visa stamp will benefit Nigerians

AGOA textile visa stamp will benefit Nigerians

Recently, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) AGOA Trade Resource Centre, Lagos, unveiled the AGOA Textile Visa Stamp. The Textile Visa Stamp, according to the NEPC, would enable garment manufacturers in Nigeria to have tariff concession on textile and garments manufactured in the country for export to the United States under the  African Growth Opportunity...

21 May, 2019