FG prioritises sesame seeds, cassava, tomatoes in AGOA deal
AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT begins the implementation strategy to ensure that non-oil products face lesser constraints in the U. S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), sesame seeds, cashew, tomatoes, oranges, cassava, spices and ginger are products top on the list for export considerations.
Others are shea butter, cow pea, banana, plantain, cement, clinker, leather and articles of leather, arts and handicrafts, specialty foods and cocoa.
Aliyu Abubakar, deputy director, Trade Department, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, on Friday said Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister had given a directive to have the document as a fall-out from the AGOA forum that took place in the U.S. in July.
AGOA is a trade programme developed to establish stronger commercial ties between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa and was signed into law 18 years ago.
The act establishes a preferential trade agreement between the U.S. and selected countries in the sub-Saharan region. Initially approved for 15 years, AGOA was reautho- rised for ten years in 2015 by the Obama administration. In its current form, AGOA will last until Sept. 30, 2025.
Abubakar explained that for Nigeria’s non oil products to be accepted, the standards must meet the requirements of U.S, which makes it important for relevant stakeholders to meet and discuss the outcome of 2018 AGOA forum in the U.S. and get their inputs on the implementation plan.
According to him, the action plan is necessary to activate the next line of progress in exporting non-oil products to the U.S. Governments have been taxed to assist AGOA eligible countries in putting in place effective and efficient mechanisms for capacity building at the national and regional levels to maximise its utilization, the deputy director said noting that open discussion on non tariff barriers affecting AGOA exports such as the lengthy registration process for consignment were encouraged for discussions
Abubakar stated that the forum also charged governments to put in place the relevant incentives/measures to attract and increase U.S. private investments in Africa with a view to accelerating the industrialisation and diversification of African economies and exports.