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‘Nigeria’s non-oil exports yet to exploit AGOA potential’

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With crude oil still dominating the bulk of Nigeria’s export to the United States, stakeholders have expressed worry about the country’s inability to exploit opportunities available to it under the extended Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) scheme.

Specifically, the Managing Director, Export and Sell in the United States of America (USA), Udeh Nduka, stated that Nigeria was yet to explore AGOA to its fullest potential with regards to non-oil export.

According to him, the AGOA, which has been extended to 2025, is only being exploited effectively by Uganda and Kenya.

Nduka stated this at a sensitisation workshop on “Earn dollars by selling on Amazon” organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in Lagos.

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“I will not say we have not utilised it, but we have not utilised it to the level we ought to, but when you look at statistics, Nigeria is one of the countries doing the most under AGOA because of petroleum. But when we look at the non-oil, we have not done much. We have countries like Uganda and Kenya doing amazing things with respect to non-oil under AGOA, but we are looking to change all that,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Regional Coordinator, South West, NEPC, Samuel Oyeyipo, stated that the workshop was aimed at enabling participants’ access to information needed to enhance the quality of their products and make them suitable for the international market and placement on Amazon platform.

He added that the scheme was critical, as it would afford NEPC all the opportunity to exchange ideas as well as map out strategies and methodologies that would provide necessary information on production of more products and create access to the export market.

Oyeyipo said the pandemic has necessitated exporters to think out of the box to ensure continuity in their businesses.

“These are responsibilities we must take with all seriousness they deserve. The workshop is therefore designed to be participatory in nature as it would enable us to share our field experiences with a view to enriching our knowledge on product development and conditionality for earning dollars through selling on Amazon platform.

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“In addition, the importance of this gathering is underscored by the fact that some of you as managers in your company, are saddled with the responsibility of generating information that could be used for planning and getting access to the foreign market”, he stated.

Reacting to rejection of Nigerian products at the international market, Nduka said most exporters do not know the requirements and lack the ability to configure their products to meet international requirements.

“This is one of the things we do at Export and Sell in the USA. If you bring a product that you want to export, we make sure that the product meets the specifications. We do not want exporters spending their hard earned money on exporting and at the end of the day, get their products rejected.

“This is the worst thing that can happen to any business. It is not that these countries are rejecting our products based on standards, it is we back home that are not doing our homework to know the requirements for exports,” he said.

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