Abia State’s commercial capital, Aba, hosted a workshop on March 29 during which more than 150 apparel manufacturers and exporters learned about the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and how to take advantage of the preferential trade agreement.
The Nigerian government has identified Abia State as the country’s manufacturing hub, as it is home to apparel firms that produce 2 billion naira (US$6.3m) worth of boxer shorts, woven shirts and other garments every year for local and regional markets.
The Hub’s Senior AGOA Specialist, Dr. Mohamed Abou iiana, and Apparel Value Chain Specialist, Mr. Emmanuel Odonkor, briefed participants on AGOA export procedures, duty exemption, third-fabric country waiver, quality and buyers’ requirements, as well as social compliance.
Many of Abia State’s manufacturing firms lack internationally accepted production standards as they do not engage in mass production and lack laboratories to test the quality of fabrics used for production.
“These challenges notwithstanding, the Abia state production potential is huge,” said Mr. Odonkor. “With the right technical assistance, some of these companies can produce for the international market.”