Friday, April 12, 2019 12:43 am
• Cry, My Beloved Country!
By Bayo Adeyinka
I watched a most distressing video this morning. The video was forwarded to me by Eze Nwakanma. It’s a video you’ll watch and almost throw your hands up in hopelessness. Sincerely, I’m a very optimistic person and I believe in the potentials of this nation but one can’t just but feel despondent a few times.
While our leaders are considering increasing VAT in Nigeria and companies are slammed with all sorts of funny tax liabilities (my wife’s school was slammed with merriment tax for holding Christmas party for the kids in her school), our neighbour Ghana is thinking outside the box. For the benefit of all, I’ll summarize what was said in this video:
Ghana has abolished VAT on real estate sales.
Ghana has abolished VAT on financial services.
Ghana has abolished capital gains tax on sales of shares on the stock exchange.
Ghana has abolished import duty on spare parts.
Ghana has abolished the 1% import levy.
Ghana has abolished VAT on domestic airline tickets.
Ghana has reduced very significantly VAT on small traders from 17.5% to 3%.
Ghana is going to abolish all import duty on raw materials and machinery imported into Ghana.
Ghana is embarking on a massive industrialization drive called One District, One Factory. And there are 216 districts in Ghana. There is now a focus on production.
Now, Ghana has two major advantages: power issues sorted out and a peaceful democracy. Ghana with a population of 28m generates 4,577MW as at 2017. Nigeria with a population of 200m generates 5,000MW. Meanwhile, Ghana is building 2 power plants- a 400MW LNG-fired plant and a 600MW plant being built by Siemens.
Ok. What are the implications for Nigeria? We don’t need soothsayers to predict how factories/companies will shut down in Nigeria and move to Ghana. Nigeria will just become a mere trading post for these companies because of our population while Ghana becomes the economic hub of West Africa. Our homes will be flooded with goods made in Ghana.
Other countries are thinking. Rwanda has taken our shine. Ethiopia has put on its thinking cap. Ghana has started an upward trajectory. Nigeria sits with its giant feet of clay. Cry, my beloved country.