Benin City — The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has called on Nigerian exporters to explore the gains of the extended African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which facilitates duty free exports to the United States of America.
It also advised exporters to adhere to some basic conditions of the Act which included packaging, standardisation, quality and others.
Speaking at a one-day workshop organised by NEPC in collaboration with AGOA,in Benin City, Edo state recently, Principal Trade Officer, AGOA, in Federal Ministry of lndustry, Trade and Investment, Adeyemo Stephen, said the AGOA programme is in line with federal government's policy to boost Nigeria's economy through agriculture.
Delivering a lecture at the event, the head of AGOA Trade Resource Centre Mrs Bolade Emmanuel told participants that one of the reasons for the workshop was to inform them on how AG0A can help them to export their wares without incurring much costs and losses.
She said, "The AGOA accords duty-free treatment to all products exported by beneficiary Sub-Sahara countries to the United States. AG0A gives beneficiary nations with most liberal access to the United States market accorded to any country or region that has not negotiated a free trade agreement, with the United States."
She said "AG0A benefits are currently extended to 40 sub-Saharan nations, and to more than, 1,800 tariff line items, plus the 4,650 items already enjoying duty-free status under U.S. It provides export diversification in AG0A countries, through its provision of duty-free and quota-free benefits to all products.
"It encourages expanded regional integration, production-sharing among beneficiary nations, provides job creation and economic growth within those countries, create vital offers for firms and business groups to build relationship with their U.S. counterparts and give security for both exporters and potential U.S. investors by ensuring AG0A gains, until 2025," she stressed.
Earlier, the Chief Executive 0fficer of Trevb Associates Product and Process Development Quality and Productivity Improvement, Femi Aderibigbe advised exporters and stakeholders in the exporting trade to place proper attention of their products by giving it appropriate label and packaging to make their products to be acceptable in international market particularly the US.
He said what the U.S. Market is concerned about are where the food product is produced, the state of the factories where the products are processed, the ingredients, packaging, labelling, nutritional content of the products before the products would be accepted in the international markets.
He urged exporters to register their products with NAFDAC, SON and other regulatory food agencies saddled with the control of those products.