Nigeria's Trade With U.S. Surges by 25 Percent

The volume of trade between Nigeria and the United States of America (USA) has hit N34.6 billion in 2010.

The National President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Mr. Sam Ohuabunwa, who made the statement at the recent 51st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the chamber in Lagos.

He said this bilateral trade volume represents a 25 per cent increase over the 2009 figure.

He said Nigeria and the US have continued to be strong economic partners especially after the meeting with United States President, Barrack Obama by the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.

According to him, the bilateral discussion complements Nigeria’s cooperation at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and would hopefully result in stronger exchanges between both countries in the future.

He also noted that Nigeria is among the leading beneficiaries of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) where most of Nigeria’s exports under AGOA are oil but non oil AGOA imports.

He said the US commended Nigeria for its renewed commitment to economic reforms and encourages continuing trade between the two countries in the years ahead.

On the global economy, the president added that the global economy outlook report posted a growth of 5 per cent for the world economy in the first quarter of 2011. He said the report revised the 2010 global growth projection to 4.5 per cent from 4.25 per cent forecasted in April.

He pointed out that the Nigerian economy recorded a growth of 7.68 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 compared to 7.28 per cent in the first quarter.

He stated that credit to the private sector grew by 0.89 per cent marginally compared to the initial 1.7 per cent while domestic debt of the government is still on the rise and could threaten the expansion pf private sector credit Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) bond, N500 billion infrastructure bond planned in the pipeline.

On the power sector, Ohuabunwa said the latest was the redesign of the structure of the single buyer transmitter of power from generation companies (Genco) to distribution company (Disco) while collecting only wheeling charges.

“We have also been expecting the unfolding of the Independent Power Project agreement, which will drive the private sector participation in the sector. The intervention fund will further boost activities in this sector in the short-medium term,” he said.

He said the general outlook indicates bank average lending rates are likely to decline because of the concessionary rate of 7 per cent on the bailout funds.

“We expect crude oil price to remain steady in the region of $70 to $80 per barrel for the rest of the year,” he added. “The major areas of opportunity are power, infrastructure and the public sector advisory”.

He said the focus of the chamber is to serve all its members right by organizing programmes and activities that are of immense benefit to them.

“Currently, I am pleased with the progress so far despite the challenges in the economy and we are determined to ensure the sustainability of these reforms,” he said.

He noted that the Chamber having attained 50 years, the board saw the need to have its own secretariat where the chamber’s business can be carried, adding that plans were already underway to ensure that it moves into its own building as soon as possible. “We plan to build an NACC plaza that will also be a source of revenue in the future,” he said.