By Daniel GUMM
Worried by the Â Â Â inability of Nigerian entrepreneurs to maximize the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has proposed a special incentive package for the over 500 trainees, who graduated from the Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC) popularly called the AGOA Training School, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, David I. Adulugba Esq. who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, however, blamed the poor response of Nigerian entrepreneurs to AGOA to the non-competitive business environment they operate which includes lack of infrastructure, high cost of funds and myriad of taxes which increase cost of production.
As a result of this, Adulugba said the council intends to design a package of measures that could be adopted to provide a stable source of income for the trainees.
In this regard, a stakeholdersâ€™ forum for the graduates of the school will hold at the AGOA Human Capital Development Centre, 30 Lugard Avenue , Ikoyi, Lagos on Tuesday March 16, 2010.
The CEO explained that the forum would afford the trainees the opportunity to participate in the design of the post training incentive package. According to him â€œthe forum will be an opportunity for the NEPC Board to meet the graduates who had completed up to seven training session in the school. More importantly, the forum will further give the trainees an opportunity to participate in the design of the incentive package that would be of immense benefit to them.â€
Adulugba, however stated that since AGOA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton of United States f America, 57 companies in Nigeria have exported goods worth $37, 734, 286.81 and 286, 224. 53 British Pounds (over N5.5 billion) of various products to the United States of America under the AGOA scheme.
The AGOA was signed into law 10 years ago, precisely in May 2000 by the Clinton administration to expand US trade and investment economic growth as well as facilitate sub-Saharan global economy.
It also provides trade preferences for quota and duty free entry into United States for certain goods. Notably, AGOA expanded market access for textile and apparel goods into United States for eligible countries.
It is on this premise that the NEPC established the centre with the objective of training Nigerian enterprenuers as well as would-be exporters on how to produce apparels, garments (like T-shirts, boxers, shirts, etc)Â that meet the requisite standard for the United States market.