Stephen Haykin, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Nigeria Mission Director, says the agency’s support has boosted trade and investment in Nigeria in the last five years.
Haykin in a press statement released on Wednesday in Abuja said that USAID had successfully completed its five-year activity aimed at boosting trade and investment in Nigeria.
He said that 100 Nigerian exporters were able to realise over 70 million dollars in exports of different products to international markets through USAID assistance.
He explained that the USAID-funded Nigeria Expanded Trade and Transport (NEXTT) activity brought together private sector traders, processors, business service providers, and government entities to advance the trade facilitation goals of the government.
According to him, these efforts resulted in expanded trade in agriculture products and increased private sector access to investment capital.
“NEXTT helped to develop non-oil exports by connecting foreign buyers with domestic small and medium scale enterprises, and helping them to obtain local and international food safety certifications.
“With this assistance, 100 Nigerian exporters were able to accrue over 70 million dollars in exports of cashew nuts, honey, beans, plantains, and cassava products to international markets.
“Recent efforts to spur non-oil export oriented economic growth by a variety of stakeholders assures us that progress from this activity will be carried forward by stakeholders.
“This includes the Federal, state, and local authorities, civil society organizations, and private actor,” he said.
He said that NEXTT forged partnerships that promoted investments along the country’s main Lagos-Kano-Jibiya (LAKAJI) Corridor and facilitated 40 million dollars in new agribusiness investments.
He said that it also helped the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Trade Facilitation Committee to address trade constraints like cargo clearance at the ports and moving goods from the port to the country’s interior.
“NEXTT helped the Nigeria Trade Facilitation Committee ratify the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
“When fully implemented, the TFA will streamline and reduce the cost and time to trade goods across Nigeria’s borders and make Nigeria’s import and export trade more competitive and efficient,” he said.