Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Ghanaians Closure of 400 Nigerian Businesses: A Threat To AU's AfCFTA

The recent development in Ghana in the past few months regarding the treatment of Nigerian Businesses with over 400 traders' shops already locked and the silence with which both the African leaders in ECOWAS and AU have greeted the situation which threatened the AfCFTA, has made observers to begin to wonder if our leaders in Africa are really serious at all about moving continent forward. 

The precarious situation of Africa and Africans where millions of people are living in abject poverty despite the aids from different parts of the world have made the continent to be described as the world single largest liability and it appears that the leader are very much comfortable with that not in their words but in its deeds. They meet regularly at different summits to give speeches upon speeches about the potential and growth of Africa but most of them seem not to be ready to walk the talk by their disposition towards intra African trade.

In July 27, 2018, The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana issued a public notice and quoting a law that prohibits non Ghanaian residence and businesses not wholly owned by Ghanaian to stop all their business activities in every market place in Ghana. In pursuant to the implementation of this law, Nigerian Businesses (who are SMEs) are expected to have hundreds of thousands of US Dollars as a minimum foreign investment capital in Ghana. This is in clear violation of the ECOWAS treaty on the Right of Establishment as enshrined in the 1990 Supplementary Protocol on the implementation of the Third Phase of the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services. This protocol allow citizens of member states to settle or establish in ECOWAS states and carry out business activities under the same conditions that apply to citizens of the host state. The goal of this is to achieve the overall objectives of the ECOWAS Treaty, which is to increase economic activities in the region in pursuit of regional prosperity. This has been flagrantly being violated and the Nigerian Government cum ECOWAS has not been able to stop it. 

If we gather together to form a free trade area through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and Ghana is bidding for the headquarters while at the same time refusing to honour the treaty they have signed under ECOWAS and no one is calling the Ghanaian President to order, how are we going to then ensure that the agreement being signed under the AfCFTA will be respected?

The fact that the chairman of ECOWAS which happened to be President of the Nigerians that are being victimised has not come out to strongly condemn the act and even visit or send delegations to Ghana to see things for himself since this issue has started is a source of major concern and it shows how powerless ECOWAS is as an institutions. The fact that the president of AU, Paul Kigame of Rwanda has not come out to strongly condemn this act and also send delegations to investigate the matter shows that he is either not concerned or not seeing the implication of this on the AfCFTA that he is championing. 

The fact is that Ghanaian authorities would have given some reasons for their actions but why is Nigerian companies the ones that are mainly affected. While is such regulations not affecting other nationals in Ghana? While I will not support the fact that  Nigerians in Ghana should be allowed to break the laws of their country of residence, I think the same yardsticks should be used for other Nationals. 

Finally, I will like to call on the government rise up to the occasion and use every possible diplomatic means to salvage the business of its citizens in Ghana especially at this time that the Nigerian President is the Chairman of ECOWAS. It is a big slap on our face to be treated this way despite the fact that our president is the Chairman of ECOWAS. It is in the interest of the president to ensure that this issue is resolved as soon as possible because it is an opportunity for this government to show Nigerian at home and in diaspora that it is a responsive and responsible government that love and protect its citizens wherever they are in the world.

Bamidele Ayemibo

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Export Digest Newsletter - NEPC/LCCI Set to Hold Made In Nigeria Exhibition in Cote D'lvoire

Dear Reader,

Please find below Nigeria's Foremost Trade Newsletter - Export Digest

In This Week's Edition of Export Digest Newsletter - NEPC/LCCI Set to Hold Made In Nigeria Exhibition in Cote D'lvoire

To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here

To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Attend The 2018 Made In Nigeria Exhibition In Cote D'Ivoire

The Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council present Made In Nigeria Exhibition programme which will be holding in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire from October 15 to 21, 2018.

The Exhibition fee for 9 sqm is N255,000 and it exclude Transportation, Feeding and Accommodation.

This programme affords Nigerian businesses both big and small the opportunity:
-To expand their markets beyond the shores of Nigeria 
-To be exposed to new market opportunities in West Africa 
-To be enlightened on how enter the Cote D'Ivoire market 
-To be empowered to take on new market in West Africa 
-To encounter international buyers of their products 
-To elevate the Nigerian brands and products in Africa 

The sectors and items covered include the following:
-Processed Agricultural products
-Fashion and Clothings
-Film and Music
-Electrical wire and cables
-Manufactured items etc

Exhibition Cost for Transport, Feeding and Accommodation 
Option 1
Air Transport (to and fro):N179,550
Exhibition:#255,000 (per 9 sqm)
Accommodation(8 days):N96,000
Feeding (8days) :N28,800
Total: N559,350

Option 2: 
Road transport (to and fro): N50,000
Exhibition: N255,000(per 9 sqm)
Accommodation (8 days): N96,000
Feeding (8 days): N28,800

To register, please pay the exhibition fee (N255,000) only to the account details below on or before Friday October 5, 2018 to enable us to get your Booth ready for the Exhibition. The account detail is as follows: The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry/Ecobank Plc/2642003505

For more information please call 08091244449

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Export Digest Newsletter - Cashew, Sesame Seed, Cocoa Top Agric Export in Q2

Dear Readers,
Please find below Nigeria's Foremost Trade Newsletter - Export Digest
In This Week's Edition of  Export Digest Newsletter - Cashew, Sesame Seed, Cocoa Top Agric Export in Q2
To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here
To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Apapa Gridlock Lessons Can Generate Billions For FG, Lagos & Ogun States

Generally in life, when people are faced with challenges, they tend to focus on fixing the issues only and this is done at the expense of the other opportunities and possibilities that the challenges present. The challenges of the Gridlock in Apapa throw up a number of questions that can provide a lasting solution and prevents a repeat of this ugly incident. 

The questions include the following: why must all the trucks bringing goods in or taking goods out of Apapa ports enter the Lagos metropolis? Why must all the goods coming in or going out of Apapa port be transported by roads? Why are we thinking only about rail to ease the movement of goods in or out of Apapa port? Why are we not considering other cheaper alternative.

It is a common saying that if you do things the same way you have always done it and expects a different result, then such an individual have a flavour of insanity. In my opinion, the pains of loss to individual companies and the Nigerian economy in general from the current issues of gridlock in Apapa should make us to begin to think differently. The current issues is indeed a blessing in disguise in the sense that it should make us to begin to consider alternatives in transporting goods into the port and these can lead to the generation of more revenues in Billions on Naira for Federal Government, Lagos and Ogun states.

There is an alternative that will make the road being constructed in Apapa to last longer. It will create more jobs and open up new areas of settlements. It will open up a new business opportunities and create more wealth. It will not put the truck drivers out of business and yet it will reduce their cost of fuel consumption and losses resulting from the delay they face in entering the port. It will save exporters from the debts that they incur from delays, documents discrepancies, demurrage fees, detention fees and defective goods. It will also save the nation from the decline in the non-oil export volume. Finally, it will not cost the federal and state government too much money like railway construction but generate more revenue for the Government.

This alternative is the use of the Lagos water ways to transfer containers from Ikorodu area of Lagos and related parts of Ogun state to the Tincan Island and Apapa ports. All the governments of needs to do is build a terminal and warehouses in the related areas of the states and afterwards divert all trucks carrying both full and empty containers for export to these terminals. So any of these container carrying trucks, especially those coming from outside Lagos, will go to this terminal for inspection by the buyer’s inspection agents and all the other relevant government agencies and also do custom clearance using all the relevant pre-export documentations. 

Upon completion of the clearance processes, the goods can be loaded inside the containers (if not already loaded) and the containers can be placed on a barge ( a flat-bottomed ship, built mainly for river and canal to transport heavy goods) which will then transport the containers via the waterways from the these terminals to Apapa and Tincan Island ports. In order to avoid demurrage, the containers will be transported from the outskirt terminals via waterways to the ports based on the date of arrival of the Vessels scheduled to ship the containers out of Nigeria. 

Finally, if this new arrangement is implemented, it will be of immense benefit to the exporters, terminal operators, Federal Government, Lagos and Ogun States and the Nigerian economy in general. For the exporters, it reduces the cost resulting delays, demurrage and debts. For the terminal operators it creates new business opportunities and increased revenue. For Lagos and Ogun State will reduce traffic within the city, increase tax revenue and all these will be increase economic activities, facilitate job creation, enhance the growth in non-oil export volume and consequently give the gross domestic product and per capital income a boost.

Bamidele Ayemibo

Friday, September 7, 2018

Nigerian Non-Oil Export Volume Slides Back To The Default Level

Non-Oil Export Volume Slides Back To The Default Level
The fear of trend watchers of the international trade sector of the Nigerian economy has finally crystallised. The sharp increase in the non-oil export volume seen in the first quarter of 2018 has suffered huge setback and no thanks to the Apapa Gridlock, a major factor that has caused the sector to relapse into the default mode. 

According to the second quarter report of the foreign trade data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the non-oil export contribution to total export from Nigeria fell from a record high of 12.3% in the first quarter of 2018 to 4.9% in the second quarter. 

This sharp decline can only be attributed to two major complementary factors. First is the fact that about 60% of Vessels that visit Nigeria annually call the Lagos ports (which are Apapa and Tincan Island port) and second is the very slow pace at which trucks carrying goods bound for export are entering into the port due to the port access road construction that is also being done at a snail speed. 

On one hand, these factors have led to the very high rate of haulage to and from the port by more than 400%. This has consequently increase the total cost of exporting any item via Apapa ports to a level that is making Nigerian products to be prohibitively high and uncompetitive when compared to that of the competitors in the export market. 

On the other hand, the delay of the trucks in entering the port is making exporters to incur huge loses. This is because, they constantly miss the scheduled Vessels for their shipments. This consequently results in late shipment which either makes the buyer to reject the shipment because it is coming late or make the presentation of their shipping documents discrepant which will delay payment in a letter of credit transactions and further increase the cash conversion cycle. 

In some cases, trucks arriving in Lagos spend about 3weeks after their arrival to enter the port. This makes some products (especially Agricultural commodities) begins to degenerate and eventually rotten away due to heat of the sun on the stationary trucks carrying the them. This is making a mess of all the diversification drive of the present administration from Oil to other sectors of the economy especially the Agricultural sector.

All these delays in shipment, discrepancies in documents, degenerated goods, demurrage fees on trucks, detention fees on containers have led to huge debts in the non-oil export business and thus leading to the discouragement of both the established and intending exporters in Nigeria. All these account for the sharp decline in the non-oil export volume seen in the second quarter of 2018. 

Finally, it is very important for the federal government of Nigeria to know that growth of export trade is not dependent on funding only but also on infrastructure that makes doing the trade business easier. I will like to therefore call on the government to not just fix the road in Apapa but also consider working on the railway to the port to reduce the number of trucks entering Apapa everyday. There is need to also consider the dredging the water channels in other ports in the country in order to attract bigger Ships can only visit the Lagos ports due to their sizes. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Export Digest Newsletter - Most Trade Products in 2017: A Challenge to Africa

Dear Readers,

Please find below Nigeria's Foremost Trade Newsletter - Export Digest

In This Week's Edition of Export Digest Newsletter - Most Trade Products in 2017: A Challenge to Africa 

To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here
To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Osun Guber Race: Questions Aspirants Must Answer

Osun state Governorship election is just few weeks away.  The question is, what is the debate all about? Is it just about certificate forgery issue, defection to other parties or debate on ideas that will lead to the growth and development of the state.

The people of Osun should be asking whoever wants to become the governor how he will generate income to develop the state without depending on Abuja allocation and PAYE.

Here are some facts to aid the conversation.
Based on the income generated (N22.1billion) by Osun state in 2017 vis a vis the state budget of N173.9billion, a deficit of N151.8billion is already guaranteed which will be funded most likely with debts.

This challenge can be permanently fixed by tapping into the export potential of the state using the tip provided on this Infograph. #taskgovaspirants2019elections #stopemptypromises2019elections8