AGOA/CBI: Okonjo-Iweala, Senator Natasha talks trade in Geneva

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Senate Chairman on Local Content, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, met amid the ongoing 148th assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) holding at the International Conference Centre, Geneva, Switzerland.

Senator Natasha who has been a strong advocate of export opportunities for Nigeria urged Dr Okonjo-Iweala to help facilitate access to global markets for Nigerian businesses, and enhance export capabilities to bolster economic growth and diversification.

In a statement signed by the Senator, she further expressed concerns about her desire to see Nigeria take advantage of the opportunities that African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) offer, respectively.

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“It is my earnest expectation under the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to see Nigeria take advantage of these export opportunities through your support and by working closely with my office as the Senate Chairman on Local Contents,” she stated.

She believed Nigeria amid the acute dollar shortages can tap the opportunities to boost its non-oil exports under AGOA to earn the much-needed foreign exchange for its economy.

In her remarks, the WTO Director-General lauded Senator Natasha for her valuable contributions and promised to look into her recommendations.

She also assured her readiness to collaborate with the Kogi lawmaker for the greater good of Nigeria, especially in the area of trade and commerce.

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AGOA, a US trade initiative established in 2000, allows African nations to export various products, especially non-oil goods, to the United States on favourable terms, thereby promoting economic development and trade on the continent.

It has been a crucial lifeline for many African economies, offering opportunities to access the vast American market.

South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Ghana dominated the 2022 non-oil AGOA exports, accounting for 90 per cent of the total non-oil AGOA exports in 2022, with Nigeria missing on the list.




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