The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has called on Nigerian entrepreneurs to exploit the opportunities of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to leverage their skills and businesses.
NACC President, Mr Olabintan Famutimi, said that AGOA presented the best opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs to be globally competitive in peculiar goods and human capital growth.
“Information available to me confirms that President Barack Obama has approved an extension of the AGOA which has proven a powerful tool for promotion of export of goods from Africa into the USA.
“I call on members to take advantage of AGOA to promote their businesses,” Famutimi said at an NACC 2015 event. He said the extension was appropriate for Nigerian entrepreneurs to collaborate with government in reviving and building the nation’s economy by boosting bilateral trade between Nigeria and USA.
“South Africa exported 3.6 billion dollars worth of goods to America in 2014 while Nigeria exported only 5.6 million dollars goods. “If Nigeria will benefit from AGOA, then her trade should not be disastrous.
We should exploit all the opportunities in AGOA,” he said. AGOA is a U.S. preferential trade programme established on May 18, 2000 to provide dutyfree access to the three trillion dollars U.S. market for thousands of products from eligible sub-Saharan African countries.
The Act offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets. Famutimi also said that the chamber, through its trade mission, would connect with potential American partners and Nigerians in the Diaspora to get them to invest in the country.
“We have found out that there are lots of Nigerians in Diaspora that have thriving businesses in the USA. “A lot of them want to set up businesses in Nigeria, but they don’t know how to go about it, probably because of the negative publicity about our country.
“So anywhere we identify as having a high concentration of Nigerians who are now American nationals, we intend to educate and provide them with the necessary information they need to invest here,” he added. Dr Lazarus Angbazo, President, American Business Council (ABC), said that Nigeria needed a vanguard of resilient entrepreneurs that would facilitate and grow her bilateral trade.
He said that Nigeria had always stood for good in the affairs of Africa, forging a strong economic relationship with U.S. that would transcend Nigeria’s border. Angbazo urged the Federal Government to create an amiable environment for business growth by addressing the infrastructural challenges of the country.
He urged the Nigerian-American entrepreneurs to view the challenges of the economy as opportunities to be leveraged upon for a greater bilateral trade between both countries. Ms. Funke Opeke, Managing Director, Mainone Cable Ltd., urged entrepreneurs to be strategic on exploiting the country’s vast population for economic development.
“Last week while in Nairobi for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), the local entrepreneurs were complaining about access to a market as large as Nigeria. “The opportunities in Nigeria are wide; as business operators we should leverage on networking and building contacts. “You do not have to compromise your standard to get results,” she said.