The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), bipartisan trade legislation and a cornerstone of US commercial policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), was enacted on 18 May 2000. The non-reciprocal initiative granted unprecedented duty-free access to more than 1800 eligible exports of SSA. The ultimate objective of this initiative is to create small businesses, boost exports and enhance economic growth in SSA.
This study, therefore, analyzed available trade data from 2000 to 2019 to ascertain whether or not Nigeria’s non-oil exports to the US have increased as a result of AGOA. We undertook a descriptive and non-technical analysis of the impact of AGOA, which revealed that Nigeria’s non-oil exports to the US had not shown any discernable or notable increase since 2000. Excluding oil exports, the US has experienced a trade surplus with Nigeria since the inception of AGOA. Hence, the expected positive impact of AGOA on small businesses remains elusive. Policy recommendations on how Nigeria may overcome the impediments to AGOA are discussed.