Unlike many African countries, Nigeria is yet to take full advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) even as the scheme will close in 2025, a top official has said.
The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mr Edet Sunday Akpan, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday during the inter-ministerial meeting ahead of the Africa Business Summit which is scheduled to hold in Chigaco , United States, early next month.
Mr Akpan, who was represented by a Deputy Director (World Trade Organisation) at the ministry, Mr Aliyu Abubakar, said it was regrettable that Nigeria had not gained full tangible benefits from AGOA scheme just a few years to its end.
‘’We need to work more to enable our country derive more benefits from AGOA. I must say Nigeria, unlike other smaller African countries, is yet to take full advantage of AGOA.
Countries like Kenya, Lesotho and others have been taking full advantage of the scheme; and we need to take advantage of it before it closes in 2025’’, he said.
He said the recently approved AGOA Strategy and Action Plan would enable the country to gain immensely from the scheme before its closure. He said Nigeria would increase its non-oil export to the US markets and earn more foreign exchange.
In his address, the Trade with Africa Business Summit’s Focal Person for Africa, Quadri-adu Kehinde said the purpose of the Business Summit was to increase trade volumes between the two countries.
‘’This is more than a business opportunity, it aims to harness and showcase feasible and attractive investment opportunities across the huge U.S-African trade axis’’, he said.
AGOA is a United States Trade Act, enacted on 18 May 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress. It has since been renewed to 2025. The legislation significantly enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.
Qualification for AGOA preferences is based on a set of conditions contained in the AGOA legislation. In order to qualify and remain eligible for AGOA, each country must be working to improve its rule of law, human rights, and respect for core labour standard.