Nigerians Not Benefiting From US Duty-Free Export – NEPC

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council says only few Nigerian exporters have benefitted from the United States duty free trade opportunity despite several sensitisation carried out by the council.

The Executive director, NEPC, Segun Awolowo, said this during an African Growth and Opportunity Act webinar for Nigerian exporters organised by West African Trade and Investment Hub in collaboration with NEPC and the Feed the Future Nigeria on Tuesday.

AGOA is a United States’ trade policy that was enacted in 2000 to facilitate trade between exporters from sub-Saharan Africa and the United States duty-free.

Awololwo, who was represented by the Director, Export Development and Incentives, Abdullahi Sidi-Aliyu, explained that the NEPC had worked to ensure Nigerians took hold of the opportunity since the inception of AGOA.

According to him, the council has been able to obtain AGOA visa approval for textiles to enable garment manufacturers in Nigeria to have tariff concessions on textile and garments manufactured in the country for export to the United States.

“Little has been achieved with regards to the benefits of AGOA despite sensitisation and training on certification and documentation,” he said.

In order to increase the participation of exporters, he noted that training in certification and capacity improvement of manufacturers were key issues that should be addressed.

The Deputy Chief of Party, West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Karl Littlejohn, said the trade hub was ready to assist farmers in improving their yield and providing access to finance.

He noted that most MSMEs were not aware that they could secure funds to boost their businesses by using moveable assets to access loans from financial institutions.

He encouraged small business owners to explore equity financing in order to make their businesses sustainable.

The Deputy Chief of Party, USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment, Rufus Idris, stated that 38 sub-Saharan African countries were eligible for the AGOA duty free trade opportunity.