Ghanaian industrialists seek ban on Nigerian exports

Ghana has prohibited some items from entry into its domain, following Nigeria’s footsteps that restricted 41 items from access to foreign exchange.

The country’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah stated in Accra on Wednesday that Ghana and Nigeria account for 68 per cent of the ECOWAS region’s Gross Domestic Product.

Nigeria accounts for almost 10 per cent of Ghana’s foreign trade volume, while Ghana is listed as the 9th largest trading partner to Nigeria.

Ghana imports the largest share of all Nigerian oil exports in the West African sub-region. But while some Nigerian manufacturers are said to be exporting foods and other commodities to Ghana, their counterparts in the old gold coast are complaining of difficulty in accessing the Nigerian market. 

The Ghanaian manufacturers, who are said to be irked because they are unable to take advantage of the Nigerian market, are therefore asking their government to place restriction on Nigeria’s export.

“Bagged cement is on Nigeria’s prohibition list but Dangote Cement exports and bags some 750,000 tonnes of cement a year for the Ghanaian market, and is expected to increase this to 1.5 million tonnes by end of this quarter,” one of the manufacturers said.

“Even for those who are able to export to Nigeria, you have to get different certificates for different customers and it takes a whole lot of time to get it.

“It makes the whole thing so cumbersome. You are exporting the same thing but you have to go and get certificates for each of the customers.

“If we also make it difficult for them to export, then we would have to find common ground,” said one of the industrialists, Kate Quartey-Papafio who is also the CEO of Reroy Cables.

She said Nigeria has used its “Import Prohibition List” to refuse certain goods entry into that country, including a host of pharmaceutical products. 

Another industrialist and Managing Director of Intravenous Infusions Limited, Richard Okrah noted that his company could have generated an additional 25% of export turnover from the Nigerian market.

“We have been making efforts through our agent in Nigeria to get us off this list but it is becoming a very difficult job for us,” he said.

He said his company faces no such restrictions from Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire and other countries where it exports to.

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