The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Olufemi Michael Abikoye, has introduced the economic initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ‘Nigeria Economic Diplomacy Initiative’ (NEDI) to the business community in Ghana.
NEDI aimed at creating an enabling environment for businesses as well as to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Nigeria.
Amb Abikoye introduced the initiative at a conference held on 10th May, 2018, in Accra, christened ‘GHANGERIA RISING 2018’ under the theme ‘Harnessing the Business Opportunities in Ghana and Nigeria to Accelerate Inclusive Economic Growth and Development’.
The first edition of what will be an annual conference, alternating between Ghana and Nigeria, promises to be a platform for continuous conversation by Ghanaian and Nigerian business persons on business opportunities, practices and challenges in both countries.
The one-day conference was declared opened by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and had in attendance the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, Honourable Shirley Botchwey and His Excellency, Ambassador Olufemi Michael Abikoye, the High Commissioner (HC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Ghana all of who delivered special addresses.
The conference focussed on four key sectors of importance to Nigeria and Ghana; Agrobusiness, Banking and Finance, Oil and Gas, Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Over one hundred policy makers, regulators, experts, entrepreneurs, facilitators and practitioners in the aforementioned sectors were present to lead the conversation.
Abikoye reminded attendees that the two countries, from 18th — 20th October, 2018, held the 7th Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC) in Accra, Ghana where bilateral instruments discussed and agreed upon include trade and double taxation agreements, capable of supporting the paradigm shift in the emerging trade and economic initiative between the two countries.
According to him, for business persons to operate unhindered, certain measures must be taken by both countries to break the barriers. Some of the conclusions made identified areas of business where each country enjoys competitive advantage including:
a) Nigeria’s advantage in agrobusiness wherein rice, yam, millet and sorghum among others;
b) Nigeria’s expertise in on-shore oil exploration and ancillaries which Ghana could attract rather than contracting non-Africans;
c) Removal of barriers by each country: Nigeria should consider a bilateral concession to Ghana concerning her prohibition list; On the other hand, Ghana should remove section 27(1a) of the GIPC Act 865 of 2013 restricting foreign traders, mainly Nigerians from the retail sector of the country.
For Nigeria, there are economic, political, and socio-economic benefits including:
a) Preserving the increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of over $100b outflow from Nigeria into Ghana;
b) Sustaining an increasing the exploits of Nigerian businesses in Ghana including eight banks, two insurance companies, Dangote Group, real estate, transportation, retail trade, oil and gas and hospitality;
c) The economic power would enhance Nigeria’s political power within the ECOWAS region;
d) Creation of employment for Nigeria’s teeming youth;
e) Provision of market expansion; and
f) Ensure common position on multilateral issues.
Also, it is noteworthy that Ghana has in various fora expressed her desire to enter the Nigerian market in order achieve a market size of about 230 million consumers.
Courtesy: Prompt Newsonline