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Unilever Ghana moves tea production to Nigeria for better deal

Growing business exodus to Nigeria raises concerns in Ghana

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu with reports from Ghanaweb

Many business concerns are relocating from Ghana to Nigeria

The companies cite growing economic crisis in Ghana and the blistering reforms in Nigeria

On Monday, March 11, during his closing remarks on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 2024 State of the Nation address, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the Minority Leader in Parliament, revealed a concerning development.

He recalled that Unilever Ghana, renowned for its Lipton tea production, has opted to shift its operations to Nigeria, citing Ghana’s ongoing economic challenges as the primary motivation behind this decision. Many companies are following the same lead.

He stated, “Again, Mr Speaker, Unilever Ghana, which has for a very long time been producing its famous Lipton tea in Ghana, has stopped its tea production here. Unilever has relocated its tea production to Nigeria.”

Dr. Ato Forson, also the Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam, cautioned that this move might signal a trend, with more companies considering relocation due to the country’s economic downturn. He expressed deep apprehension about the management of the nation under the Akufo-Addo administration, stressing that the exodus of businesses should be a matter of grave concern for all Ghanaians.

Further expressing his concerns, he said, “We have lost jobs by exporting the Lipton tea production to Nigeria. This is bad news for Ghanaian employees! Again, Mr Speaker, Unilever Ghana has not been able to commence its Pepsodent production in Ghana after President Akufo-Addo commissioned the plant, five years ago. This is as a result of the worsening business environment,”

Given his background as a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Ato Forson’s remarks echoed broader worries about Ghana’s economic stability and its repercussions on local enterprises. He highlighted the loss of jobs resulting from Unilever’s decision to export Lipton tea production to Nigeria, branding it as detrimental to Ghanaian employees.

Furthermore, Dr. Ato Forson lamented another setback: Unilever Ghana’s failure to kickstart Pepsodent production in Ghana, despite the plant’s commissioning five years prior by President Akufo-Addo. This, he attributed to the increasingly unfavorable business environment in the country.

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