The stakeholders shared their views at the annual dinner dance organised by NACC in Lagos recently.
Pascal Dozie, founder of Diamond Bank and chairman of the event, noted the chamber’s recent activities with AGOA in the country, recalling how it was moved from the custody of a federal ministry to that of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
“We must do more with AGOA as Nigeria is not an oil country as some prides her but an agricultural country, that was what sustained her many years ago and that is where we need to look more into,” Dozie said.
AGOA is a United States Trade Act, enacted on May 18, 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 like Nigeria. 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 respects for core labour standards.
According to Famutimi Olabintan, president, NACC, the chamber has been a strong driver of AGOA in Nigeria through series of workshops enabling beneficiaries that include SMEs to maximise the benefits the trade Act offers.
Brent Omdahl, commercial Counsellor, United States Mission to Nigeria and a representative of the US Consul-General, at the event commended the chamber for the several programmes organised for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and partnerships in the AGOA space. The United States looks to Nigeria as the leader of the continent, he said.
“Kelogg’s, an American company recently launched a $450 million joint venture partnership in Nigeria, bringing investments and high quality jobs,” Omdahl said. “Today, Keloggs have a range of products in Nigeria and Nigerians have Kelogg’s cereal for breakfast.”
He also noted that with the emergence of the United States commercial dialogue with Nigeria, Nigeria hoped to improve its infrastructure, grow agriculture and drive digital economy.