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Trade Dispute: Ghana to consider resolutions from Legislative Diplomacy

The President of Ghana, Prof. Nana Akufo Ado has assured the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila of the readiness of the Ghanaian government to consider the resolutions reached at the ‘Legislative Diplomacy Bilateral Meeting’ between Nigeria and Ghana’s senior legislators, at the Ghanaian Parliament House. 

The Ghanian President gave the assurance when the Speaker of Ghana’s parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, upon completion of the 2-day extensive dialogue, led his Nigerian counterpart on a courtesy visit to the President at the Jubilee House, Accra, Ghana.

The legislative diplomacy dialogue became imperative as the parliaments of the two countries sought modalities to resolve challenges and provide an enabling business environment for foreign traders including Nigerians doing business in Ghana.

Several foreign businesses, many Nigerian-owned, in Ghana have been facing challenges in the demand for $1m capital base for foreign traders, as enshrined in the Ghana Investment Promotion Center GIPC Act (2013) 

Responding to a request by Nigeria’s Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila for a review of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act to make certain concessions, President Akufo-Addo said the request was in order as it “makes a lot of sense”

The Ghanaian President, who expressed satisfaction with Gbajabiamila’s visit, endorsed his proposal for the establishment of a ‘Nigeria-Ghana Business Council’ established by law in both countries, and additionally suggested the setting up of a joint ministerial committee between the two countries that will “shepherd” issues between Ghana and Nigeria.

He told Gbajabiamila he would also raise the issue with President Muhammadu Buhari when they meet at the ECOWAS Summit on Monday.

Meanwhile, in a communique issued jointly at the end of the bilateral meeting between members of the two Parliaments led by their respective Speakers, Mr Gbajabiamila and Prof. Mike Oquaye, it was resolved that “measures will be adopted to support law-abiding traders to properly regularise their business operations to alleviate the trade challenges occasioned by the alleged closure of the retail stores, in view of the ravaging impact of Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and families in both countries.”

They 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, 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.

IBRAHIM SHEHU

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