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‘Well implemented AGOA in agro, SMEs will ease recession’

Leading development finance analyst and adviser to the USAID Small & Medium Enterprises scheme (SMEs), Mr. Bob Ezumah has called on the authorities to retrain operators of SMEs and redirect many unemployed youths to agriculture where they can engage in commercial farming and product packaging.

In an interview, Ezumah said “Before now, Nigerian businesses are being encouraged to take advantage of Africa Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), a major support programme of the US government to drive massive growth of local manufacturing and production”.

The scheme is designed to boost trade expansion and inroad to the US markets.

Ezumah added that, one of the ways we can get out of recession is to increase our exports in the non-oil products, saying “AGOA has given Nigeria and indeed African nations to now deepen agricultural productivity because that is currently where we have comparative advantage because of the land mass we have and the population that can work on the land”.

“Another angle we should be careful is to make sure our products are raised up to international market standards so that the US market can absorb the products.

“I am sure that the moment we get our agro products to the acceptable international standards, we can gain form AGOA and also have our economy rejiged.

Experts say Nigeria may be out of the woods soon if SMEs can increase their productive commitments,’ Ezumah noted.

On the surest way to stand SMEs in an economy that is under, the USAID expert said “One of the surest ways to drive SMEs in the economy is to reduce inefficiency in their operations by automating their business programmes and activities”.

“They need to alto automate their plants and machineries and all lines of production to block drainpipes.