The Federal Government last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand the exportation of agricultural products by 30 per cent within the next three years.
At the signing of the MoU in Abuja, the Executive Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Exports Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the USAID Nigeria Director, Mr. Michael Harvey, signed on behalf of the United States Government.
The MoU, which was designed for the expansion of the agricultural export, will be implemented under the Nigerian Expanded Trade and Transport (NETT) programme.
The programme, which is expected to promote inclusive economic growth through improved trade and transport competitiveness, has three components, which include transport corridor improvements, which will bring together public and private sector stakeholders to strengthen transport corridor governance on the Lagos-Kano-Jibiya corridor; policy reform and trade facilitation as well as expanded export support. Speaking at the event, Awolowo said the signing agreement would assist the Federal Government in increasing exports of selected products by 30 per cent and to capture the level of the country’s informal trade within the continent.
According to him, “this is a very important agreement for us because we know that we are missing out in the capturing of trade within Africa formally. The partnership will help to increase the export of selected products by 30 per cent over three years. We have an estimate that informal trade within Africa is about $12 billion, which we are not capturing. It is going on everyday. For our own non-oil exports, we are capturing $3 billion all over the world.”
He added: “So, you can see what we are missing out on. This is very exciting to us. We have also done a report on informal trade, the constraints and the problems we are facing. With this agreement, we will be able to move informal trade to formal.” Meanwhile, Harvey said under the MoU, both parties would come up with export development strategies for priority value chains.
He maintained that through jointly sponsored trainings under the NETT, export-ready firms would be supported to exploit opportunities in targeted value chains. He said the partnership would provide technical and capacity building support to the network of business development service providers serving non-oil export firms.
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