Nigerian shippers urged to take advantage of second chance of AGOA


By Tunde Opalana

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian – American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Mr. Ayo Salam has urged Nigerian exporters, in particular, shippers to take advantage of the second window of opportunities by African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which lapses in 2025 to advance trade and export with the United States of America.

This is as he promised to assist Nigerian exporters and shoppers leverage on the 6500 export items authorized by the bilateral trading window.

Mr. Salam said this at the meeting of the NACC in conjunction with the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Abuja Liaison Office at the Conference Room, Shippers Plaza,Abuja.

He said the meeting was organized to discuss provision of assistance and advice on how the Nigerian products can be accepted in the American market as well as the problem faced by Shippers with regards to coastal transport between Nigeria and America, and advice government on possible solutions.

He said AGOA Trade Resource Centre shall be incorporated into the affairs of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) and this will assist all stakeholders to work together to accomplish this important goal of diversifying the economy, enhance the value of Nigerian currency and create job opportunities.

This effort on the part of NACC he added, will help Nigeria to reap the benefits of AGOA Nigerian companies have not taken advantage of the AGOA because they export mainly oil to the United States.

” Though AGOA programme has been on for several years. The AGOA project initiated by the United States of America in 2000 was to help develop trade and facilitate exporting over 6000 goods into America with no tariff.

“The trade agreement primarily set up to stimulate the African economy covered 15 years and has since elapsed in 2015. However, Nigeria and other Africa countries on the programme have been given a second chance when the programme was extended by another 10 years.”

The Executive Secretary called on all shippers to associate with NACC to take maximum advantage of the second chance by leveraging on the 6500 items allowed to be exported to USA.

He said Nigeria’s over reliance on oil was the reason for the present economic woes and it is the exporters who can liberate Nigeria from economic slavery through focus on exportation of non- oil products.

“We must know that economic independence is as important as political independence and for us to be economically free, we must advocate alternative areas of exportation different from oil.

“Nigeria American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), is a veritable vehicle that the country can utilize to fully utilize the AGOA programme after underutilizing its opportunities in the past,” he said.

Salam assured registered members of the Nigerian Shippers Association that they stand to gain tremendously from the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and America, stressing that in no distant future, shippers who are not part of the Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce will be more the exception than the rule.

He told them that the United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, recently disclosed that Nigeria will continue to be eligible for preferential trade access to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“Nigerian exporters in the non oil sector can actually take Nigeria out of the wood and earn billions of dollars exporting goods to America through the full utilization of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“God has blessed Nigeria with so many resources relative to other nations. It is, however, humiliating that the country is so poor among the comity of nations,” he lamented,” he also said.

According to him, the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) is the first and oldest bilateral chamber of commerce in Nigeria. It was established in 1960 to enhance business relations between the United States of America and Nigeria. The two countries have had productive and mutually beneficial relations ever since Nigeria’s independence on Oct. 1, 1960.

He added that more than 61 years on, the NACC has grown into a dynamic organization. “It stands as a pillar of the relationship between the United States of America and Nigeria, serving as an important catalyst in bringing together people and ideals to bolster bilateral commercial relations between Nigeria and the United States.”

He added that a number of factors are incontrovertibly responsible for this, saying, “for instance the U.S. is unarguably the world’s largest economy, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately 19.39 trillion U.S dollars. Nigeria, on the other hand, has been recognized as the largest economy and most populous country in Africa with an estimated population of over 200 million, which is expected to grow to 400 million by 2050 and become the third most populous country in the world after China and India.

“More specifically, the U.S – a global economic power — has been supporting Nigeria with programmes aimed at strengthening the management and coordination of its economy, while encouraging private sector development and economic reform.

“One of these initiatives is the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA forum is one of the key components of U.S.-Africa strategy that focuses on increasing the United States’ trade and investment in Africa as a mechanism for job creation within the continent.”

The Liaison Officer, Nigerian Shippers Council, Abuja Office, Hajiya Karimatu Uthman advised shippers to avail themselves of opportunities presented by NACC while soliciting a tripatite synergy among NACC, Nigerian Shippers Council and shippers.

She also urged members of the Shippers Council and shippers to register with NACC so that they will not miss opportunities provided by NACC.

She demanded from the Chamber, a full list of items that can be exported to the United States

At the meeting, a keynote lecture was delivered online by Ambassador Bayo Idowu , a retired diplomat who retired as Head of Economic and Trade relations in the Embassy of Nigeria, Washington D C.

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