Nigeria in a ‘cat and mouse game’
…as calls for negotiation on trade embargo intensifies The Nigerian trade embargo on Ghana is still in place. And the revised list of Ghanaian items that are outlawed from Nigerian markets, as at June 30, 2005, now includes water. But intense efforts by Ghanaian government officials over the past two months to get their counterparts from Nigeria sit at the negotiation table have drawn blank response. Information reaching Public Agenda indicates that an official letter which the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and NEPAD sent to its counterpart ministries; the Federal Ministries of Commence and Industry, two months ago, met a wall of silence. A Senior Economic Officer at the ECOWAS Secretariat of the Ministry of Regional Integration, Mr. Bonaventure Adjavor confirmed this in an interview with Public Agenda recently. “We have written a letter to the Nigerian government requesting negotiations on the ban, but they are yet to reply,” he said. But the barefaced refusal by the Nigeria government to negotiate on the trade embargo is reportedly raising tensions between the two nations. The inability of ECOWAS to amicably resolve the trade rift between the two countries has also left many people questioning its relevance. Some Ghanaians had even called for the withdrawal of Ghana from the regional body. Though Hon. Kwabena Adusa Okerchiri, Chairman of the Parliamentary select Committee on Foreign Affairs and Hon. John Mahama, Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and MP for Bole Bamboi had said such an assertion was far fetched, they agreed that there was urgent need for the heads of states of the two nations to initiate negotiations to avoid the healthy relationship that exist between the two nations going sour. The Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambers is recently reported to have also stated that other ECOWAS States were not comfortable with the ban and had urged Nigeria to open the gates for negotiation. But the ECOWAS scribe himself was not sure what the outcome would be even if Nigeria accedes to negotiate. As at June 15 this year too, Ghana was to contest the ban at the review meeting of the Head of States on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in Abuja, Nigeria. But though the APRM review has come and gone, the trade embargo is still in force. Patience is however said to be running out and tempers flaring as the threat of collapse of many Ghanaian companies as a result of the Nigerian ban become a near reality. Textile companies have taken the lead, with Juapong Textiles already gone, while Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) which recently downsized its workforce by about 60% is in distress. But it is not only the textile companies which are feeling the pinch of the trade embargo. Other companies are too. The Nigerian ban is extensive and affects almost all industries in the country.
Public Agenda presents a comprehensive list of the banned items.
List of banned items
1. Live or Dead Birds including Frozen Poultry
2. Pork and Pork Products, beef and beef products, mutton, lamb and Goat Meat.
3. Bird's eggs
4. Flowers (Plastic and Fresh)
5. Cassava/Cassava products
6. Fresh and dried fruits
7. Maize, Sorghum, Millet
8. Wheat Flour
9. Vegetable Oils and Fats (but excluding linseed and castor oils and Hydrogenated vegetable fats used as industrial raw
10. Sugar Confectionaries (other than Chocolate) Chocolates are excluded because they are not locally produced
11. Cocoa butter, powder and cakes
12. Spaghetti/Noodles -
14. Fruit Juice in retail packs
15. Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or sweetening matter or flavoured, and other non-alcoholic beverages
16. Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, not containing added sugar or sweetening matter or flavoured ice-snow
17. Beer (Bottled, canned or otherwise packed)
18. Bentonites and Barytes
19. Bagged cement (excluding white cement).
20. Medicaments falling under headings as indicated below:
a) Paracetamol tablets and Syrups
b] Cotrimoxazole tablets and Syrups
c) Metronidazole tablets and Syrups
d) Chroloroquine tablets and Syrups
e). Haematinic formulations:
f) Ferrous sulphate and ferrous gluconate tablets
g) Folic acid tablet
h) Vitamin 8 Complex tablets [except modified release formulations
i) Multivitamin tablets, capsules and syrups
j). Aspirin tablets
k). Magnesium trisilicate tablets and suspensions
l). Piperazine tablets and syrups
m). Levamisole tablets and syrups
n). Clotrimazole cream
o). Ampicillin/Cloxasillin combination capsules
p). Ointments- penicillin/gentamycin
q). Pyrantel pamoate tablets and syrups
r). Intravenous Fluids (Dextrose, Normal Saline etc)
s). Pharmaceutical, drugs/Regulated products imported through all land borders and some Air and sea ports except:
21. Toothpastes of all kinds
22. Finished Soaps and Detergents excluding all raw materials which shall also attract 20% duty rate).
23. Mosquito Repellant Coils, Disinfectant and Germicides
24. Sanitary Wares of plastics and Domestic articles and wares of plastics.
25. Tooth Picks
26. Rethreaded and used Pneumatic tyres
27. Corrugated Paper and Paper Boards-all forms of paper cartons, boxes and cases
28. Envelopes –creating Cards -Calendars
29. Toilet paper, cleansing or facial tissues, towel and similar sanitary
16. Exercise Books
17. Textile Fabric of all types and articles thereof and yarn chapters 50-63 but excluding:
a) Nylon tyre cord
b) Multifilament Nylon Chafer fabrics and tracing cloth
18. Textile fabrics, coated, impregnated, laminated or covered with plastics for industrial use
19. Narrow fabrics
20. Trimmings and Linings
21. Made-up Fishing Nets
22. Mosquito Nets; Textile Netting fabrics
23. Gloves for industrial use
24. Canvas Fabrics for Manufacture of fan Belts
25. Moulding cups Lycra
k) Elastic Bands
27. Textile products and articles for technical use including linoleum
28. Transmission or Conveyor Bell or belting of textile materials
29. Polypropylene primary and secondary carpet backing materials (For one year only)
30. Fibre rope, Slings, cables, etc.
31. Mutilated rags
32. Jute Bags
33. Fibre/Non Woven s.
35. Base Fabrics
36. Specialised Carpet Yarn for the Manufacture of Carpets to be imported for a period of one year, after which Carpet manufacturers are expected to source their yarn requirement locally.
37. Acrylic Yarn
38. Polypropylene yarn and High Tenacity yarn of Nylon
39. Metallic Yarn
40. Viscose Yarn (Rayon and filament)
41. All types of Foot wears and Bags including suitcases of leather and plastics (but excluding safety shoes used in oil industries and Sports shoes).
42. Cutlasses, Axes, Pick axes, spades, shovels and similar tools,
43. Used Compressors, Used Air Conditioners and used Fridges/Freezer
44. Used Motor Vehicles above eight (8) years from the year of manufacture
45. Fully built and CKD Bicycles, Frames, Forks, Rims and Mudguards. Bonafide Assemblers are to import other parts not banned and source their Rims Frames, Forks and Mudguards locally.
46. Wheel Barrows
47. Furniture- But excluding Stadium Chairs and all fittings & accessories used in furniture making, falling in other chapters of the nomenclature.
48. Electric generating sound proof casings but excluding other prefabricated buildings.
49. Gaming Machines
50. Ball Point Pens
51. Hollow Glass Bottles of a capacity exceeding 150mls of a kind used for packaging of beverages by breweries and other beverage and drink companies.
52. Glass bottles
53. Aluminium Foil
55. Ropp Caps
56. Collapsible tubes
57. Steel Wire (0.26 – ³.75mm diameters)
58. Manila Yarn
59. Nylon Yarn
60. Textile Slings
61. Fittings for Slings: .
(iii) Master Links
(iv) Steel Sleeves
(v) Aluminium Sleeves
(I) Birds eggs
63. Cocoa butter powder and cakes
64. Medicaments of headings
65. Disinfectants and Germicides
66. sanitary wares of plastics
68. Greeting Cards
70. Cleansing of Facial Tissues, Towels and sanitary articles
71. Ladies foot wears and bags Leather and plastic
72. CKD bicycles, frames, forks Rims and mudguards
73. Electric generating sound Proof castings
74. Linseed, Castor Oils and Hydrogenated Fats used as industrial raw materials
77. White Cement
78. All Raw Materials for the Manufacturer of Soap and Detergents and shall attract 20% duty
79. Textiles of Chapter 50-63
(i) Nylon tyre cord.
(ii) Multifilament Nylon Chafer fabrics and tracing cloth
(iii) Textile fabrics, coated, impregnated, laminated or covered with plastics for industrial use
(iv) Narrow fabrics
(v) Trimmings and Linings
(vi) Make-up Fishing Nets
(vii) Mosquito Nets, Textile Nettings fabrics
(viii) Gloves for industrial use
(ix) Canvas Fabrics for Manufacture of Fan Belts
(x) Moulding cups Lycra
(xi) Elastic Bands
(xiii) Textile products and articles for technical use including
80. Transmission or Conveyor Belt or belting of textile materials
81. Polypropylene primary and secondary carpets backing materials
82. Fibre rope, Slings, cables
83. Mutilated rags
84. Jute Bags
85. Fibre/Non Woven
86. Acetate low
87. Lace and Embroidery manufacturers are granted special concession to import their raw materials of specialised yarn and base Fabrics (Base Cloth) of cotton, synthetic and staple fibres falling under the following for a period not exceeding 2 years:
89. Base Fabrics
90. Specialised Carpet Yarn for the Manufacture of Carpets to be imported for a period of one year, after which carpets manufacturers are expected to source their yarn requirements locally.
91. Safety shoes used in oil industries and sports shoes
92. Stadium Chairs and all fittings and accessories used in furniture making falling in other chapters of the nomenclature
93. Other prefabricated buildings