The Nigerian economy is jittery as a result of movements of some companies from the country to Ghana. Businesses in West Africa’s most populous country are relocating to Ghana because Nigeria has serious power shortage.
Following the flight of companies, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the Lagos Parliament have all expressed concern, fearing disaster for the Nigerian economy and its consequences of youth unemployment and attendant social problems.
One of the companies that has been cited as planning to relocate to Ghana is Guinness Nigeria, but a Nigerian publication, the Guradian argues that the company is not likely to move to Ghana giving some reasons.
According to the Guardian, it has found out after investigations that “although the company is making frantic efforts to sustain production capacity at optimum level, it has no plans to close production lines in Nigeria a market that is adjudged its second largest in the world.”
While the publication admits that it was unable to get officials of the company to comment on “the alleged plan, by the company, to close production lines in Nigeria and invest in a more ‘economically viable’ Ghana”, it quotes a former marketing executive of the company, who is still privy to some operations of the company, who maintained that “Guinness had no intention to leave Nigeria for whatever reason at this time.”
The former official told the Guardian that “hauling its products from Ghana -a smaller market – to Nigeria, would not only be a bad business decision, but also entail an additional burden on the company’s operating cost and harm its profitability.”
“They are not leaving Nigeria, because of any power situation. The power problem in the country is not new; it has been a recurring problem that has been with us for ages (and I agree that it is worsening) but the company has been running on generators for the bulk of the time,” the source was quoted as saying.
There is no doubt that the relocation of Nigerian companies to Ghana is a big blow to the country’s pride as the leader in West Africa. A clear example of this notion was expressly revealed by some prominent Nigerians including senators, over President Obama’s decision to visit Ghana and not Nigeria. Media reports showed that some Nigerians even tried to downplay the significance of the visit.
One Nigerian politician even told the BBC that if Obama by visiting Ghana, was trying to convey a message to Nigeria, then that message has not been conveyed well enough.
Certainly, the decision of companies to relocate to Ghana, is a business decision, executives of the companies are solely responsible for. And Obama’s visit to Ghana, was his decision, Ghana, as a nation did not invite President Obama nor compelled him to visit. In the same way the people of Ghana are not dragging the businesses that are moving into the country by the hand.
It is hoped that the Nigerian authorities would do what ought to be done and put their acts together, because no amount of actions or words to disparage Ghana would stop the companies from moving, if the situation in Nigeria is nothing but one that makes good business sense to relocate to Ghana.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi