‘Nigeria hasn’t taken advantage of AGOA’

The United States government says Nigeria has not taken full advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

The US government, through its Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Tibor Nagy, and the Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa, Ms Constance Hamilton, said this on Tuesday during a telephone press briefing on the forthcoming 2019 AGOA Forum.

Signed into law by a former US President Bill Clinton in May 2000, AGOA’s objectives include the expansion and deepening of the trade and investment relationship of the US with sub-Saharan Africa.

According to a statement on Wednesday by the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General, Lagos, Nagy and Hamilton noted that the AGOA Forum was a key component of the US-Africa relationship.

On why Nigerian companies had not been able to efficiently key into the business opportunities offered by AGOA, Hamilton said Nigeria needed to diversify its economy to take full advantage of the initiative.

She said, “I think that Nigeria has not taken advantage of AGOA because they send us mainly oil… To a certain extent, Nigeria is taking advantage of it (AGOA) – probably more than some of the other countries – but it is petroleum. And oil doesn’t really create the kind of jobs or other benefits from trade that I think that countries are looking for.”