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Experts have said that Nigeria is not making progress in products exporting to the United States of America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) due to poor packaging and not observing environmental laws.

The experts spoke weekend at a training programme for the small medium enterprises (SME) organised by the Bank of Industry in Lagos. AGOA was signed into law in 14 years ago by the America government to expand trade between United States and Sub-Saharan countries, to stimulate economic growth by providing duty free treatment for 7000 eligible export products.

Speaking during the event on 'Breaking the jinx of poor packaging,' Mrs. Victoria Ironbar, one of the facilitators, noted that poor packaging of products is one of the major reasons why Nigerian SMEs can't penetrate U.S markets let alone make money in a country of 160 million people.

"You can make money from packaging ideas not necessarily products. There is power in packaging ideas, packaging is next to grading and branding, packaging should be able to tell what a product stands for. Until you are able to know and surpass your competitors you won't go anywhere," she said.

She implored the participants to carve a niche for themselves in being outstanding and having an international appeal with their business name and logo. Ironbar went further and chided enterprises to make research, equip and improve themselves especially in areas suitable to the growth of their business.

"For instance, researching on parameters on how to curb losses such as dehydrating and packing vegetables in a way that its shelf longevity will be improved and nutritional components retained."

To move Nigeria from the bottom end of exportation to the top level, she outlined invention, innovation and creative thinking as the key solutions while regrettably noting that despite being endowed with numerous resources and limitless opportunities.

Lagos, Nigeria


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