Fact Sheet: The United States and Nigeria: Expanding Trade and Investment
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                             (Abuja, Nigeria)
For Immediate Release                                       August 27, 2000

                                FACT SHEET

      The United States and Nigeria:  Expanding Trade and Investment

President Clinton today announced new initiatives to expand trade and
investment between the United States and Nigeria in a speech before U.S.
and Nigerian business representatives.   These measures, which include
duty-free access to the U.S. market for many Nigerian products and new
financing arrangements for Nigerian importers of US products, complement
other initiatives announced during the President's visit to deepen the
economic partnership between the two countries.   These include support for
debt relief, assistance to broaden access to education and information
technology, and a reinstatement of direct air travel between Nigeria and
the United States.  His remarks on trade capped a day of business agreement
signings and a Commercial Dialogue involving senior private sector and
public officials from the two countries.

GSP Trade Benefits on Nigerian Products.  The President announced that
Nigeria will be added to the list of developing countries whose exports to
the United States receive duty-free status under the Generalized System of
Preferences (GSP) program.  The GSP program provides nonreciprocal tariff
preferences to developing countries in order to promote their economic
growth and development.  More than 4,650 products from approximately 140
designated beneficiary countries qualify for this treatment.  Access to the
GSP program will help Nigeria expand its export base beyond oil, which
accounts for 95 percent of export receipts.

   To promote economic diversification, the government has created export
   processing zones, reduced average tariffs from 24% to 12%, and
   identified priority products for export promotion.  Of these, the
   following would qualify for duty-free treatment under GSP:  Electrical
   and Electronic Products; Leather Products; Plastic Products; Rubber
   Products; Garments; Metal Products; Sports Equipment and Materials;
   Biscuits and Confectioneries; Paper materials; Food Processing;
   Pharmaceutical Products.

   The United States is Nigeria's top export market, accounting for 44% of
   its export earnings.  In 1998, the United States imported $10.5 million
   in agricultural goods and $3.8 million in textiles and apparel from
   Nigeria.  The elimination of tariffs under GSP will increase the demand
   for such products as cocoa, cotton, handmade traditional textiles,
   minerals and metals, and forest products.  US tariffs currently range
   from 2% to 20% on these products.

Nigeria is also being considered for eligibility under the recently enacted
African Growth and Opportunity Act, which will confer duty-free treatment
on virtually all products exported from qualifying Sub-Saharan African
countries, including those ineligible for such treatment under existing GSP
product limits.  Under this law, African beneficiary countries will enjoy
the freest access to the US market of any not part of a Free Trade Area
(Canada, Mexico, and Israel).  The legislation has the potential to
generate billions of dollars in new trade and investment  between the U.S.
and Africa.

   President Obasanjo considers Nigeria's participation in the African
   Growth and Opportunity Act a centerpiece of his national economic
   strategy to alleviate poverty through expanded and diversified trade and
   investment.  In July 2000, an inter-ministerial committee reporting to
   the Vice President was established to oversee Nigeria's qualification
   for and implementation of the Act.

   Since President Clinton signed the African Growth and Opportunity Act
   into law on May 18, 2000, the Administration has been preparing
   implementation of the Act.   President Clinton is scheduled to announce
   countries eligible for benefits under the Act in early October and
   apparel products eligible for duty/quota free treatment in December

To maximize the commercial potential of GSP and the Africa Growth and
Opportunity Act  for Nigeria, the President also announced new measures to
expand financing and promotion of trade between the two countries:

    U.S. Export-Import Bank.  Eximbank announced several important new
   initiatives to finance trade between the US and Nigeria having the
   potential to facilitate billions of dollars of additional commerce:
     Master Guaranty Agreements.  Ex-Im Bank has entered into partnership
     arrangements with four Nigerian banks under the Master Guarantee
     Agreement.  Through these agreements, Ex-Im Bank guarantees loans and
     guarantees made by Nigerian banks to Nigerian borrowers for purchases
     of U.S. goods and services.  Nigeria is only the second market in
     Africa whose banks have been approved for these guarantees.  The
     partnership created with these Nigerian banks under the Agreement will
     help local businesses access financial capital for purchasing goods
     and services to grow the Nigerian economy.
     Project Incentive Agreement ("PIA").  Exim Chairman James Harmon
     signed a PIA with representatives of the Nigerian government and
     Central Bank that will create an efficient vehicle for financing
     infrastructure projects in Nigeria.  Under the PIA, the Nigerian
     government will commit to issue all approvals necessary for the
     establishment and operation of a payment account for specialized
     transactions, permitting the transfer of U.S. Dollars freely out of
     Nigeria and the purchase of U.S. Dollars in a free and lawful market
     in Nigeria.  The PIA includes security arrangements, utilizing hard
     currency commodity export contracts, such as those generated by oil
     and gas exports sales.  A major benefit of the PIA is that it gives
     the Nigerian government an opportunity to show the international
     business community that it is willing to work with the private sector
     to facilitate more trade, commerce, and investment to support the
     Nigerian economy.
     $6 million Guaranteed Loan to the Government of the State of Jigawa to
     purchase U.S. equipment for a broadband wireless internet network.  A
     five-year loan made by First International Bank to finance the
     purchase of a broadband wireless internet access network from
     TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. of Annapolis, Maryland will be
     guaranteed by NAL Merchant Bank (a Nigerian financial institution) and
     the Ex-Im Bank.  Ex-Im Bank support for this project is important
     because it constitutes the first medium-term Ex-Im Bank guarantee
     approved for a Nigerian buyer in almost ten years.   Moreover, this is
     a project in the telecommunications sector and involves a
     Maryland-based African-American-owned business.

     Department of Commerce.  The Department of Commerce will:  a)
     establish a second Foreign Commercial Officer in Lagos, Nigeria  in
     March 2001, augmenting the current Foreign Commercial Service
     complement of one Senior Commercial Officer and five Foreign Service
     Nationals; b) support a trade mission to the United States by 40 to 50
     members of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce which will visit
     New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, and Washington, DC between
     October 14 and 25; and c) undertake a $1.2 million Commercial Law
     Development program of technical assistance and training to support
     efforts to establish a legal framework for the private sector that
     will improve investor confidence, open markets, and help to build
     democratic institutions.

     U.S. Trade and Development Agency.  TDA is an independent U.S. agency
     that funds feasibility studies, consultancies, training programs and
     other business project planning services in emerging market countries.
     After years of inactivity in Nigeria, TDA signed its first grant
     agreement July 26, 2000 for an important sugar industry feasibility
     study project in northern Nigeria.  TDA has also recently approved
     funding for projects totaling over $1.6 million for expansion of
     Nigerian use of domestic natural gas, refinery modernization to
     produce upgraded fuels for the Nigeria market, development of a major
     new cement factory, and management of the radio frequency spectrum for
     telecommunications access.  These commitments could lead to the
     development of nearly $1 billion in investments in crucial economic

        Sugar Industry Development Feasibility Project - Bauchi and Jigawa
        States.  This cost-shared feasibility will be performed to
        determine the potential for two new cane sugar factories and
        estates.  Development of the sugar industry has been given high
        priority by both the Federal Government, for domestic food needs,
        and Jigawa and Bauchi States for local economic development.
        Nigeria Gas Corporation (NGC) Increased Gas Utilization,
        nationwide.  This feasibility study grant, to be competed among
        U.S. firms by the parastatal NGC, will examine the best markets and
        uses for presently flared Nigerian natural gas, in particular
        pipeline extension and increased gas use for power generation, LPG
        and compressed natural gas.
        Warri Refinery and Petroleum Company (WRPC) Modernization, Warri,
        Delta State.  This feasibility study, to be competed among U.S.
        firms by WRPC, will examine the best refinery upgrade investments
        needed to produce additional petroleum products for the Nigerian
        New Cement Factory Feasibility, Kogi State.  This cost-shared study
        will be performed to determine production and market feasibility
        for a new private cement factory in central Nigeria.  This project
        would offset some 1 million tons of imports annually.  Recognizing
        the importance of the project, Kogi State will be sharing the cost
        of the study with TDA.
        Frequency Spectrum Management.  This technical support and
        feasibility study, to be competed among U.S. firms by the Nigeria
        Communications Commission, will provide rapid assistance on how
        Nigeria can most effectively manage the frequency spectrum to
        expand wireless telecommunications access.

Treasury Department.  The U.S. and Nigeria signed an agreement under which
the Department of the Treasury will provide technical assistance to the
Nigerian government in the areas of budget and fiscal policy as well as
government debt issuance and management.

State Department.  The State Department will post an additional Foreign
Service Officer in Nigeria to work with federal and state governments,
Niger Delta communities, and private companies to improve coordination in
their effort to ensure that the people of the region benefit from Nigeria's
economic resources development.


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