Speakers of the Parliament of Ghana and the House of Representatives of Nigeria have resolved to work towards regularising trading activities in both countries.
This was contained in a communiqué issued after a two-day bilateral discussion regarding recent hostilities in respect of the closure of shops of Nigerian retail traders and the demolition of a property belonging to the Nigerian High Commission in Accra.
Addressing a joint press briefing in Accra, Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu indicated that the Trade and Industry Committees of the respective houses have been tasked to work out the modalities 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 Association in Ghana (NUTAG) had earlier complained that its members had over time endured a series of “progressive acts of hostility” allegedly meted out to them by Ghanaian authorities and traders, which include the closure of their shops.
Their Ghanaian counterparts, the Ghana Union of Traders' Association (GUTA) had accused members of NUTAG of feeding the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari with false information concerning retail trade in Ghana.
This compelled the Government of Nigeria to issue a strong warning to the Government of Ghana, stating that it will no longer tolerate any form of alleged harassment of its citizens residing in Ghana.
President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, has however insisted that some Nigerian traders have instead been making false accusations against the Government of Ghana anytime retail laws are being enforced.
He thus asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Nigerian retailers to order in a bid not to “strain the already existing cordial relations between our two sister countries and adversely affect 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.”