Since the coronavirus pandemic, many countries have seen a decline in the economy, affecting many trade activities within nations. Despite the hard times resulting from the pandemic, Nigeria and Ghana are on the other side battling with the major trade war that has existed almost for a decade. Nigeria traders faced discrimination from Ghana local authorities. Many of their shops have remained closed during this Covid-19 pandemic, which brings out the existing rivalry between the countries. The major clash exists between Ghana natives and foreigners who own a larger part of local retail trade in the capital city, Accra.
Nigerians Facing a trade war resulting in shops shut down
Nigerian living in Ghana, Chizoba Okechukwu, one of the shop owners closed by the Ghanaian authorities, expressed his frustrations during this challenging time.
“We have a family here; we pay our taxes here, we take care of our family. Ok, now the shops are closed, how do you expect us to take care of our responsibilities? I do not know what the problem is; what have we done to them? The problem we have is that we are Nigerians, other foreigners are here doing their business success.”
Ghana trade laws through the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre do not allow immigrants in the country to do any retail business unless they invest $1 million. The Ghana Union of Traders Association since 2019 has been pushing for its implementation, which has resulted in many Nigeria owned retail shops shut down for failure to comply.
What Nigeria Union of Traders Association has to say?
The Head of the Nigeria Union of Traders Association in Ghana, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nnaji, expressed his dissatisfaction with how Nigerian business persons are being handled in the country.
“It is a shame to Africa, fighting among ourselves, it is quite a shame. How can people from other regions take us seriously when we have rules we cannot obey when we have protocols we cannot follow. How can we relate with people outside this block? They will not take us seriously!”
However, the 1 million USD investment law required by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre does not apply to non-citizens who are members of the West Africa African States (ECOWAS). Depicting an overpressure Ghana is putting on Nigeria citizens in the country.
What business analyst has to say?
Opinions from business and economy analysts say it is a wrong turn for a country to hinder its neighbors from doing business. Louis Afful says: even between a regional block, you have countries having trade disputes or treaty misunderstandings, barriers, and issues. Therefore, the two nations should find solutions to the trade war. Because free trade is about large exports, and Nigeria is not a member, it is time for them to come out clear and take a stand. They have to consider the issues its citizens are facing in other countries in the name of discrimination before deciding to stay away or becoming a member of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (ACFTA).
The current trade war between the countries, as some may see it as a petty issue, could affect the trade dealings of the African Continental Free trade Agreement ACFTA between its members. However, On the other side, Nigeria will take a stand, which will change how its citizens can trade and do business in foreign countries.
- The Next Face of The World Trade Organization
- Women Plumbers Changing the Trade
- The impact of terrorism on international trade