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Nigeria records N2.3 trillion in trade surplus with U.S.

Posted by From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja on 2005/06/17 | Views: 428 |

Nigeria records N2.3 trillion in trade surplus with U.S.


NIGERIA recorded a favourable trade balance with the United States (U.S.) in 2004. During the period, the Federal Government realised N2.3 trillion ($16.2 billion) as earnings from its exports to the U.S. while the figures for the previous year stood at N1.4 trillion ($10.4 billion).

NIGERIA recorded a favourable trade balance with the United States (U.S.) in 2004. During the period, the Federal Government realised N2.3 trillion ($16.2 billion) as earnings from its exports to the U.S. while the figures for the previous year stood at N1.4 trillion ($10.4 billion).

In real terms, it is not entirely cheering news for Nigeria because the revenue came from a sole source: The export of crude oil - a primary product.

The U.S. on its part, exported manufactured goods, especially automobiles, computers and their accessories to Nigeria.

To check the trend, the Federal Government has appealed to the American government to make its African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) attractive to Nigeria's non-oil exports.

At the monthly briefing of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria entitled: "The Nigerian response to the African Growth and Opportunity Act" in Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on Export and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. Modupe Saosore, said that the AGOA had only been visible in the oil sector.

She said that the trend was at variance with the Federal Government's efforts at promoting non-oil exports to the U.S.

Saosore said that to change the situation, the government had embarked on ventures to empower local producers of the non-oil commodities and pleaded with the U.S. to also initiate programmes to encourage the manufacturers acquire skills for quality production.

The presidential aide, who listed the product sectors being considered for initial phase of AGOA as textile and apparels, footwear and leather accessories, wood articles and products, handicraft, and selected agricultural products. Nigeria, she said enjoys comparative and competitive edge in certain products of the sector. The tariff advantage and the size of the U.S. market were also cited as some reasons for the consideration.

Saosore said: "As a textile producing nation, we are working on marketing made-in -Nigeria textile products (yarn and fabric) mainly to apparel producers exporting to the U.S. and other AGOA eligible sub-Saharan African countries. The country has already generated a number of enquiries for yarn, cotton wool fabrics, which have been forwarded to operators in the industry."

She added: "We hope to establish training/model factories to be located in Aba and Lagos for the purposes of training apparel producers in cutting, button-holing, seaming and packaging. The first of these centres is already underway in Lagos. It is being equipped with machines to accommodate 300 trainees quarterly; these and other small-scale garment and textile producers would be trained to produce for export through sub-contracting arrangements."

The other centre to be located in Aba with the assistance of the World Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Saosore said is aimed at providing indigenous skilled artisans engaged in footwear and leather goods production with modern equipment and finishing machines so that their products can attain international quality standard for exportable products.

In his response, the U.S. Embassy's Senior Economic Officer, Mr. Larry Walker admitted that Hydrocarbons has dominated Nigeria's export to his country.

He said that America imports from Nigeria 10 times what it exports to the country.

Expressing some concerns on Nigeria's import bans and tariffs, Walker hoped that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff, when adopted would put things right.

Walker said that the private sector as direct beneficiaries of AGOA was the hope of Nigeria's economic growth.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.