PARLIAMENTARY DIPLOMACY: NIGERIA AND GHANA MEET TO END TRADE DISPUTE

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Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila exchanging pleasantries with his Ghanaian counterpart,
Rt. Hon. A. S. Bagbin during his visit to Abuja

The parliamentary leaders of Nigeria and Ghana have met to find a lasting solution to the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.

This was disclosed after a closed-door diplomatic session in Abuja which had in attendance, the Speaker of Nigeria House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Alban SumanaBagbin, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, OtunbaNiyi Adebayo, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada.

The trade dispute which originated from the $1million business participation levy imposed on foreigners intending to do business in Ghana had brought a regional backlash, and it was insinuated that the levy was targeted at Nigerians in particular.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, Gbajabiamila said some modalities have been put in place including setting up a technical committee that will settle the tussle.

 He said, “The issue with our traders and the Ghanaian authorities has been addressed today. The Minister of Trade and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs were at the meeting. There is a technical committee set up. They will be going to Ghana next week to dot the ‘Is’ and cross the ‘Ts’”.

According to him, “We have got assurance from both sides that the issue of trade dispute will be a thing of the past. We’re now putting up a mechanism to make sure that these issues don’t come up again in the future.”

As an integral aspect of the Parliamentary Diplomacy of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, the Ghana Speaker was earlier allowed to address the plenary, where he appealed for the continuation of the long relationship between the two countries.

He explained, “The issue of Nigerian traders in Ghana; it is on this basis that I commend my brother and colleague, Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila, and my predecessor, Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, for their noble efforts in pursuing Parliamentary Diplomacy towards finding a lasting solution to the trade impasse between some Ghanaian and Nigerian traders in Ghana.”

On parliamentary friendship, Bagbin reiterated that Ghana has set up a committee from the Joint Committee of Eminent Persons of their Legislatures to work with their Nigerian colleagues on the success of ‘Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act.’

This Act according to him, is expected to initiate the planned ‘Nigeria-Ghana Business Council’, that will be responsible for the provision of legal structure to empower the friendship and business comforts of Nigerians and Ghanaians.

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