The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) recently re-introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) visa stamp to exporters to ensure their participation in the scheme before it expires in 2025. The scheme was extended till 2025 as many African nations performed better than Nigeria under the scheme, said NEPC Executive Director Olusegun Awolowo.

Awolowo conveyed this message through National Office on Trade Deputy Director Saave Nanakaan to the NEPC workshop on AGOA visa stamp utilisation in Lagos recently. AGOA was passed by the US Congress in 2000 and is meant to assist sub-Saharan African countries in improving economic ties between the United States and the region.

Visa stamp, which was introduced in January 18, 2016, took effect from February 8 the same year. It was another step to further simplify US market access for textiles and garments from AGOA-eligible countries.

Under the process, the Office of the US Trade Representative has directed US Customs and Border Protection to permit importers to submit electronic images of appropriate export visas when claiming preferential treatment for textile and apparel products under the act.