Facilitate Nigeria’s access to global market, Senate implores Okonjo-Iweala

Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Local Content, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, has urged the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to help facilitate access to global markets for Nigerian businesses to boost economic growth and diversification. She said this at the ongoing 148th assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held at the International Conference Centre, Geneva, Switzerland.

The senator, who said she has been a strong advocate of export opportunities for Nigeria, expressed concerns about her desire to see Nigeria take advantage of the huge opportunities that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) offer.

“It is my earnest expectation to see Nigeria take advantage of these export opportunities through your support and by working closely with my office as the chair of the Senate Committee on Local Content,” she said.

She added that Nigeria, amidst the acute FX shortage currently being experienced, could tap into available opportunities to boost its non-oil exports under AGOA and earn the much-needed FX.

Speaking, Okonjo-Iweala boss lauded Akpoti-Uduaghan for her valuable contributions and promised to look into her recommendations. She also assured her readiness to collaborate with the senator for the greater good of Nigeria, especially in trade and commerce.

AGOA, a U.S. 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 a whopping 90 per cent of the total non-oil AGOA exports in 2022, with Nigeria missing on the list.

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