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Should Ghana close-up to make Nigeria open-up?

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Thursday, 03 March 2016

Should Ghana close-up to make Nigeria open-up?

Some industrialists, particularly those badly hit by Nigeria’s trade restrictions, seem to think so; they think that since diplomacy has failed, Ghana must come up with its own ‘prohibition list’ and refuse certain goods entry -- giving the excuse that it targets no country in particular. That way, they argue, the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which is the main ECOWAS operational tool for promoting the West Africa region as a free trade area, might gain some leverage. “If we also make it difficult for them to export, then we would have to find common ground,” Kate Quartey-Papafio, CEO of Reroy Cables, told the B&FT in an interview. “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. “There should be a clear letter written to the Nigerians complaining about this, and then also try and use some diplomatic means to quickly resolve it,” Seth Twum Akwaboah, CEO of the Association of Ghana Industries, told the B&FT. “If it doesn’t work then we must also look at countervailing measures…it could be product targetting,” he said. Nigeria has used an “Import Prohibition List” to refuse certain goods entry into that country, including a host of pharmaceutical products.

Source: Ghana Web