Export: Nigeria to earn $1bn from US, others

By Ikenga Chronicles October 20, 2016

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has stated that Nigerian exporters intend to
achieve $1 billion agricultural produce exports to the United States and other developed countries under the Agricultural Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) scheme.

Chief of party, USAID Nigeria, Bob Ezumah, said this in Lagos while mentoring stakeholders in Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) on the potential endowed in AGOA at a SMEs forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

AGOA is a legislation approved by the U.S. Congress in May 2000. The purpose of the legislation is to assist the economies of sub- Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region.

Ezumah said that some SMEs firms in the country are currently doing millions of dollars worth of goods exports
especially agricultural produce to the US and others countries under AGOA.

According to him, many SMEs in the export of goods/ items are not aware that 4,600 of AGOA products qualify
for elimination of tariffs under the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) of the U.S.

Additionally, Ezumah said that 2000 products were now included in “import sensitive” under the GSP. He explained that the increase in the country’s export market might not be unconnected to South Africa’s exports to U.S, which already surpassed $1 billion.

Specifically, he noted that South Africa exported goods/ items worth N1.2 billion to the U.S last year, against $2.6 million in favour of Nigeria.

However, the USAID Nigeria boss said currently, there were some Nigerian companies involved in the export of $96 million (Cocoa), $38 million (Cashew) and $322 million (Shea Butter) under AGOA to U.S, India and Vietnam respectively.

He added that this intensity in export market would generate lots of foreign exchange for Nigeria.

“Under our AGOA scheme, we are currently handling some Nigerian companies that are doing export of $96 million worth of Cocoa to the U.S, $38 million of Cashew to Vietnam and India and $322 million worth of Shea Butter export to the U.S.”

“These agricultural produce exports will help generate huge foreign exchange for Nigeria. The only way Nigeria can get out of this recession is to export more local produce to foreign countries and bring in foreign exchange for the government to develop the country.”

Speaking on the opportunities of AGOA, Ezumah stressed that the benefits and incentives spaned over 6,400 products broadly categorised into cashew e.g raw, roasted, salted, shea e.g shea butterbulk and finished product, home décor and fashion accessories e.g furniture and wood products, hand-crafted pottery and baskets, leather hand bags and shoes etc.

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