In a bid to reduce the pressure on the Naira, the Nigerian government placed a ban on certain imports, prohibiting 41 goods from having access to the foreign exchange.
Whether in usual retaliation or not, Ghana is following in Nigeria’s footsteps by banning the entry of certain items into the country.
The Ghanaian minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah confirmed in a statement that although Nigeria and Ghana account for 68% of the ECOWAS GDP, Ghana has prohibited some goods from being imported into the country.
Ghana is the largest trade partner to Nigeria, with Nigeria making up 10% of Ghana’s foreign trade volume. Yet, Ghanaian traders do not like Nigeria’s new rules on imports, regarding it as too strict for business.
Kate Quartey-Papafio, CEO of Reroy Cables said “If we also make it difficult for them to export, then we would have to find common ground.
“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,” she said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghanaian Association of Ghana Industries stated that, “there should be a clear letter written to the Nigerians complaining about this, and then also try to use some diplomatic means to quickly resolve it.
“If it does not work then we must also look at countervailing measures…it could be product targeting,”
Although Nigeria and Ghana have the biggest economies in west Africa, the two nations have always been cynical concerning the other’s trade policies. When Ghana imposed a kind of trade protection that required $300,000 from all foreign based companies operating in Ghana, including Nigeria, the country sought to come up with new ways to retaliate. Regardless, Ghana still remains Nigeria’s largest trade partner and major investment hub in the region.