President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has proposed the setting up of a joint ministerial committee between Ghana and Nigeria to help address the recent trade impasse between the two countries.
The President made the proposal yesterday when the Nigerian government, led by the Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House, Accra.
“Perhaps it will be a good idea also to set up a joint Ministerial Committee for Ministers on both sides, who would be responsible for shepherding Ghana-Nigerian issues, and reporting to both Presidents at any time when matters occur, and how they should be resolved,” he said.
Recently, the two West African countries have been engaged in trade tussle, involving members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association who have clashed with Nigerian traders, said to be operating illegally at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra, despite directives for their shops to remain closed until they provide legal documents.
Welcoming Nigeria’s Speaker and his delegation, President Akufo-Addo explained that when the statement from the Nigerian Minister for Information “warning Ghana over incessant harassment of Nigerians” came out, he was very much alarmed.
“I was alarmed because, if they were the sentiments and attitudes of the Federal Government of Nigeria, then we were in a really serious problem,” he said.
“I thought it best to speak to Mr President (Muhammadu Buhari) as soon as possible, which I did, and then I was informed by the Speaker (of Ghana’s Parliament) that he had taken an independent course of action in the matter by speaking to you (the Speaker of Nigeria’s Parliament), and inviting you to come to Ghana to talk about the issues that emerged from the statement,” he said.
Commending Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila for taking up the invitation, President Akufo-Addo stated that the result of the meeting between the Ghanaian and Nigerian Speakers is the way forward, and very acceptable to him.
“The idea of legislation to promote a Ghana-Nigeria Business Council, that will have superintendence over trade and investment matters between our two countries, is well overdue. It is events that produces institutions, and the time has come for it to be done,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians and Nigerians to build on the strong relations that have existed between the two countries, or, at the very least, make sure that the current status quo is preserved.
He reassured Speaker Gbajabiamila that the “Nigerian population in Ghana are safe”, adding that many of them have lived for centuries trading and doing business in Ghana without any difficulties, “and that culture of co-operation and brotherliness will continue.”
Leave a Reply