By Amaka Agwuegbo
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of DN Meyer Plc, Mr. Bola Olayinka, has stressed the need for investors in Nigeria to exercise some caution in their bid to relocate their businesses to Ghana.
â€œThough the Ghanaian government has promised to provide better conditions for investments in that country, one has to look at the events of things before jumping at the offer.
â€œPeople tend to say it doesnâ€™t make any difference if they operate in Ghana or Nigeria. It does because beyond the issue of ECOWAS treaties and operating within the same economic region, we also have to look at the cost of doing business and the issue of satisfying your shareholders. At the end of the day, the name of the game is the returns on investments,â€ said Olayinka.
According to Olayinka, â€œI want to believe that the economy of Ghana has suddenly picked up which is driven by investments coming from Nigeria. Nigerians would be treated as very high cadre of people who should continue to be attracted to Ghana for whatever reason so that those who have had a taste can share the benefits of Ghana with others who have the desire to relocate due to the challenges of operating in Nigeria.â€
Not too recently, President John Atta-Mills of Ghana, in a ploy to attract Nigerian businesses and companies to set up shop in Ghana, promised to give them free land, a 15-year tax holiday, uninterrupted power supply, among other policy initiatives.
Before the open invitation from the Ghanaâ€™s John Atta-Mills, many Nigerian companies were on their own closing shop and relocating to neighbouring countries – including Ghana, of course. With every company that leaves Nigeria, the country loses face, jobs and other opportunities.
The invitation from Ghana should be a direct charge to the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, states and local councils as well. Low capacity utilisation is a serious problem that must be addressed. This ought to be a wake-up call to our government to review our policies for the possibilities of kick-starting the manufacturing and investment sectors.
When asked if DN Meyer is tempted to relocate to Ghana, Olayinka said it depends on a lot of factors, but what shareholders want is high return on investments.