The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has stated that Nigeria would leverage on the friendly disposition of President Joe Biden’s administration to boost Americans’ investments in the country and enhance its participation of Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).
The NACC made these revelations yesterday in Lagos during a press conference that was addressed by the National President of the NACC, Mr. Toyin Akomolafe, to inform the general public of the programmes lined up for the celebration of the chamber’s 60th anniversary.
Akomolafe, who unveiled the anniversary’s logo, disclosed that the NACC runs an embassy assisted programme, which is directly supervised by the United States of America’s embassy, to prepare Nigerian SMEs on the core processes of participating and enjoying the benefits of the AGOA. The programme enjoys the participation of Nigerian banks.
He said: “The chamber is an AGOA Resource Centre. AGOA is an initiative of the United States’ government to open up a preferential window of export opportunities to selected countries in Africa.
“This window of opportunity helps in assisting our members with information and training on export procedures and standards, etc. in exporting non-oil and agro-allied products to the United States.”
A Board Member and Chairman Programmes Committee of the NACC, Mrs. Adebola Williams, said during the press conference that the chamber is “trying to ensure that a lot of our members, especially the SMEs, are involved. We want to ensure that we maximise the opportunities that still remains in the next five years and ensure that our members take the full benefit of what the AGOA offers.”
The Director General of the NACC, Mr. Sola Obadimu, observed that two key challenges facing the SMEs participation in the AGOA are export standard issues and access to finance.
Obadimu, however, noted that Nigeria must fix its infrastructures, especially the seaports, and activate its dormant “because Lagos ports cannot be the only operational ports in the country.”
The Chairman of the 60th Anniversary Programme, Mr. Ehi Braimah, said that there are great opportunities ahead for enhanced Nigeria and America business relationship under the Biden’s friendlier administration.
Braimah said: “While we await Biden’s further policies on Africa, this chamber will look out for opportunities in attracting American investments into the country. The best we can do is to take advantage of the friendlier climate in leveraging the relationship.
“Nigeria is still a great country and the greatest economy in Africa. There are indications that the future is still bright in spite of the global recession imposed upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic disease.