Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said that Nigeria’s border closure in 2019 has hurt Ghanaians and nearly bankrupted many Ghanaian export businesses after their goods were stuck in the Seme Border for months.
The Minister stated this earlier this week, in a series of tweets reacting to the recent shutdown of Nigerian-owned shops by Ghanaian authorities.
August 2019 saw Nigeria close its land borders without notice to community trade. Explanation- "To stop smuggling and to protect local industries from imported/smuggled rice, etc.
— Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (@AyorkorBotchwey) August 24, 2020
Recall that Nairametrics reported last week that the Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, lamented that the closure of Nigerian shops contravened ECOWAS’ trade protocols and called for a decisive solution between both countries.
“The happenings in Ghana are indeed against the spirit of the ECOWAS protocol and must be dealt with decisively in the interest of both countries,” he said.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, also summoned Ghana’s Chargé d’Affaires to Nigeria, Ms. Iva Denoo, last week, to discuss the closure of Nigerian-owned shops in Accra. Apparently, Onyeama had also claimed that Ghana’s alleged harassment of Nigerian-owned shops was being done for electoral gains.
Reacting to this claim, Ghana’s Foreign Minister said Geoffrey Onyema’s claim, “if indeed true will be most unfortunate.” This is because both countries have a tradition of maintaining close ties.
Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Minister recently summoned Chargé d’Affaires of Nigeria to Ghana, Esther Adebola Arewa, to protest comments attributed to Nigeria’s Foreign minister. In a series of tweets she responded to comments attributed to the Onyema.
“Comments against Ghana attributed to Nigerian FM @GeoffreyOnyeam that Ghanaian government is harassing Nigerian retailers for 2020 electoral gains if indeed true will be most unfortunate as relations between our two countries has always been strong.”
“August 2019 saw Nigeria close its land borders without notice to community trade. Explanation- “To stop smuggling and to protect local industries from imported/smuggled rice, etc.” she said.
“Of course, this decision ended up hurting Ghanaian exporters and brought many of them to their knees financially as trucks were stuck at the Seme Krake border for months”
She added that she visited Abuja with Ghana’s trade Minister to resolve the issue to ensure safe passage of Ghanaian goods through Nigeria’s border as they were told Border Closure was not meant to hurt Ghana.
“Unfortunately, nothing came out of these meetings so in the end, Ghana Government had no choice but to help rescue our exporters On 10th August, 2020, a 6-week nationwide exercise including market visits to assess business operating documents of traders in Ghana took off”
She concluded that the exercise would be over by September and “has not targeted at traders from any country.”
Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading
Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app
Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.
Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.
As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.
Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.
Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.
What they are saying
Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”
ABCON asks CBN to check impact of cryptocurrencies on diaspora remittances
The association also noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.
The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce measures that will neutralize the positive effects of cryptocurrencies as a channel for diaspora remittances.
This is to redirect diaspora remittances away from cryptocurrency exchanges to official channels and also protect such against potential disruptions.
This call was made by ABCON during its Quarterly Economic Review for the first quarter of 2021 where it commended the CBN for the N5/$ rebate scheme introduced to encourage diaspora Nigerians to use official channels to remit their funds.
However, the association noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.
What ABCON is saying in their statement
The association in its statement said, “It is noteworthy that public acceptability for cryptocurrency exchanges are rising which could be quite accountable for the wide drop in diaspora inflows to Nigeria. Insecurity in the country is giving it greater prominence as investors and citizens are finding Cryptocurrency a safe haven for their wealth in case of any eventuality.
In most Emerging Markets Bitcoin transfers surged last year, as the pandemic exposed the cheaper and more efficient digital remittance services. Migrants sending money across borders to their families prefer the minimal transaction costs of cryptocurrency exchanges against the exorbitant costs of traditional money transfer companies like Western Union.”
According to ABCON, “Cryptocurrency transactions are faster than the conventional transfers, which require passing through banks reliant SWIFT, the sluggish, half-century-old interbank messaging system that handles cross-border payments.
These exchanges override the political complications of official channels. The global reach of cryptocurrencies avoids the inflation risk inherent to official currencies, especially in politically unstable countries reliant on fickle foreign investors.
Thus, while we commend the efforts of CBN in introducing the package of Five Naira for One Dollar transfer, it can be seen from the analysis above that the challenges exceed just non-payment of foreign currency by the IMTCs and the exchange rate. Strategies that satisfy the most sensitive of these advantages of Cryptocurrency exchanges must be introduced to redirect flows to the official channel.”
ABCON also expressed concerns over the country’s huge unemployment rate, urging the government to apply radical approaches with the use of both conventional and unconventional economic and political tools to redress the trend.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the apex bank had about 2 months ago, warned the Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
- The CBN directed financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a few days ago, revealed that it is working with the CBN for a better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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