Ghana, Taking The Shine Off Nigeria?

Ghana, Taking The Shine Off Nigeria?
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There has been word trading in public space over the somewhat indication that Nigeria is fast losing its long held appeal as the location of choice for foreign firms in the siting of their businesses, in spite of the recently issued 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report by the World Bank on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

The Report measures the ease of doing business through a comparative assessment of the regulatory environment in 190 countries across the following 12 areas of life of a business organisation, from  May 1, 2018 to April 30,2019.

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According to the Report, Nigeria ranks 131 out of 190 countries on the World Bank Doing Business Index, moving up 15 places from 146th position in the 2019 Report.

However, in two weeks, Twitter, German-West African Center for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention and automobile firms, Hyundai and Kai have all opted to site their operational bases in Ghana, in a move that appears more or less, a muted slighting of Nigeria.

With much shock after the development, Nigerians took to social media space to vent their anger against the Federal Government for her inactions, which they said, led to the choice of Ghana as the headquarters for Twitter’s African operations, instead of Nigeria that has far more Twitter followers.

They blamed the government for inconsistent policies and for allowing Twitter to be accused of escalating the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria last year, which reached its peak on October 20, 2021, when security forces allegedly opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.

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After the protest, Nigerian politician, Adamu Garba, sued Twitter for supporting the protest, but later withdrew the suit.

Concerned that Twitter was dragged into the #EndSARS saga, Nigerian youths insist that the inability of the government to handle the issue, coupled with policy inconsistency, must have prompted Twitter to look outside of Nigeria in sitting its African headquarters in Ghana.

Nigeria’s population is large and bigger than Ghana’s, our market size is bigger, we have more Twitter patrons, our geographical location is an advantage, but we have a very bad social environment that is discouraging investors from investing in Nigeria.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, said the company’s choice of Ghana was based on the country’s history of being a “champion of democracy” and “a supporter of free speech, online freedom and the open internet”.

 AljazirahNigeria can note as a matter of fact, other factors which may have influenced the choice of Ghana being our manufacturing sector which is in comatose and the government not doing anything about it. Many manufacturing companies have gone under while several others have relocated to neighboring countries. Government policy and the business operating environment are not favourable to investors, and these are the real issues that business owners consider before siting business in any location”.

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Apart from technical skills transfer, more taxes will be paid to the local country. You will have better quality of the service at reduced cost, and opportunities for development of local content.

We struggle for access to good medical care, access to good roads, access to electricity, among others. Those blaming the federal government for Twitter’s choice to site its African headquarters in Ghana instead of Nigeria, are only blaming the effect and not the cause.

Policies are inconsistent and most of the time anti-business and these have compelled investors to struggle so much to do business in Nigeria.

AljazirahNigeria is deeply perturbed as more global companies seem to be snubbing Nigeria despite its status as the largest market in Africa, as Hyundai and Kia followed the path of Twitter to announce the basing of their assembly plants in Ghana. The two automakers will now manufacture and assemble their vehicles in Ghana and distribute them to other African countries for sale. Both Hyundai and Kia plan to establish the assembly plants in the West African country before the end of next year.

Aside from Hyundai and Kia, other car manufacturers like Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Kantanka, Volkswagen, and Sinotruck have already made Ghana one of their assembly locations in Africa. When the foreign brands start distributing their vehicles to their market in Africa, Nigeria will have to depend on Ghana to import cars. This means Nigeria will become a source of revenue for the neighbouring country in the auto market.

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The entry of the two automotive companies followed Twitter’s decision to snub Nigeria, a country that offers the social media firm its second-largest users in sub-Saharan Africa.

Similarly, the German government says it will support the launch of a German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention.

The development comes just when the dust is yet to settle on Twitter’s choice of Ghana over Nigeria for its African office.

There is an ongoing conversation over how Africa’s giant somehow manages to lose opportunities to neighbouring countries, Ghana especially.

While Nigeria may pride itself as Africa’s giant, Ghana is gradually positioning itself as the apple of the continent’s eyes, especially to foreign investors.

We urge the government to urgently clear the Augean stable by creating a sustainable business environment that would attract the ever needed foreign investment.

Efforts must be reinforced at stemming the recurring spate of insecurity that is running in different shades across the country. Only then can some level of confidence return to attract Foreign Investment from across the globe.

Aljazirahnews


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