The Speakers of the Parliament of Ghana and the House of Representatives of Nigeria have fixed to work towards regularising trading activities in both countries.
This was contained in a communiqué issued after a two-day bilateral discussion relating to recent hostilities in respect of the closure of shops of Nigerian retail investors as well as the demolition of a home belonging to the Nigerian High Commission in Accra.
Attending to a joint press briefing in Accra, Chairman of the Media and Publication Board of the House of Reps, Benjamin Kalu showed that the Trade and also Industry Committees of the particular houses have been tasked to exercise the techniques of the process.
“A joint committee will be established to compose of members of both legislations to explore the possible passage of reciprocal legislation which could potentially be called the Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act which shall propose the Ghana-Nigeria Business Council to provide a legal framework to sustain the friendship and benefits of the two nations.”
Ghana-Nigeria trade tussle
The Nigerian Union of Traders Organization in Ghana (NUTAG) had earlier whined that its members had more than time endured a series of “dynamic acts of hostility” allegedly meted out to them by Ghanaian authorities and investors, which include the closure of their stores.
This forced the Government of Nigeria to release a strong caution to the Government of Ghana, specifying that it will no more endure any kind of kind of alleged harassment of its residents staying in Ghana.
The Ghana Union of Traders’ Organization (GUTA) also in a letter charged members of NUTAG of feeding the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari with false details worrying retail trade in Ghana.
President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, has nevertheless insisted that some Nigerian investors have rather been making false accusations against the Government of Ghana anytime retail laws are being enforced.
He therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Nigerian merchants to order in a bid not to “stress the currently existing friendly relationships between our two sister nations as well as adversely influence the integration of the sub-regional bloc”.
“However, GUTA has noticed with much concern the behaviour of a section of Nigerian traders in Ghana by the name NUTAG, who anytime the authorities in Ghana want to enforce our sovereign laws, resort to weird allegations and other highly dubious tactics of disinformation. The attitude of these Nigerians, if not checked and handled well, will strain the already existing cordial relations between our two sister countries and adversely affect the integration of the sub-regional bloc. They need to be called to order.”
The full communique is below:
BETWEEN THE SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF GHANA AND HIS COUNTERPART FROM THE NIGERIAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON RESOLVING TRADE CHALLENGES & IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
A Twelve-Member Delegation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila held a bilateral meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, and the Leadership of the Parliament of Ghana.
The meeting which took place on Wednesday, 2nd September, 2020 at the Speaker’s Lounge, Parliament House, Accra, discussed the implementation of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865) which had resulted in the closure of some retail shops of foreigners including some Nigerians in Ghana. Some key Ministers of State attended and participated in the deliberations at the special invitation of the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana.
The meeting also discussed the recent demolition of a property of the High Commission of Nigeria located at No.19/20 Julius Nyerere Street, as well as issues relating to the property at No. 10 Barnes Road which was secured as far back as 23rd October, 1959 through a commercial arrangement between Thomas Hardy and the Ministry of Finance incorporated- Federation of Nigeria.
The Meeting was attended by the Minister for National Security, Hon. Kan Dapaah, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen, the Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (MP), the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Mohammad Habibu Tijani (MP) and the Chief Executive of the GIPC, Mr. Yofi Grant, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Hon. Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Ranking Member of the Committee, Hon. Alfred Okoh Vanderpuye and the Clerk to Parliament, Mr. Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah.
The Nigerian delegation comprised of the Head of Delegation, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Speaker, House of Representatives); accompanied by Hon. Yusuf Buba (Committee Chairman, Foreign Affairs), Hon. Benjamin Kalu (Committee Chairman, Media and Public Affairs), Hon. Shehu Balarabe (Deputy Chairman, Federal Road Safety Commission), Hon. Adebayo Balogun (Deputy Chairman, Committee on Health & ECOWAS Parliament) Hon. Ephraim Nwuzi (Deputy Chairman, Committee on Diaspora) and Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya.
The historic bilateral meeting:
Recounted the long-standing friendship between the two nations which existed prior to the independence of the Ghana and Nigeria and the healthy rivalry exhibited in sports, education, creative arts and other spheres of human endeavours. We reiterated that such shared and cherished history must not be undermined. Rather, it should be harnessed for the benefit of all citizens involved.
Acknowledged that many stakeholders in the retail sector have limited appreciation of the trade laws of Ghana, in particular, Section 28 of the GIPC Act, 2013 (Act 865), which provides for the conditions under which non-Ghanaians can engage in trading activities and urged the relevant regulatory authorities including the GIPC and Trade Attaches of foreign missions to educate their citizens on the trade laws.
Source: Ghana Waves