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25.01.2006 Business & Finance

Ghana still engaged in talks with Nigeria

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Accra, Jan. 25, GNA - Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry, on Wednesday said the Ministry was still engaged in further consultations with the Nigerian authorities to "give substance and meaning" to the Presidential order by Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to lift the ban on prohibited goods originating from Ghana.

"Mr Speaker, we are aware that following this Presidential declaration, some Ghanaian companies have been able to export products to Nigeria without difficulties. But we are also aware that there are still some Ghanaian companies that are unable to do so," he told Parliament.

The Minister was responding to a question from Mr Dan Abodakpi, NDC-Keta, on policies and practical measures being pursued by the Ministry to secure Ghana's trade relations with Nigeria in view of the unilateral position taken by Nigeria to support and protect its industries to the detriment of Ghanaian exports.

Mr Kyeremanten said Nigeria's move affected the export of a wide range of products into Nigeria including fruits juices, plastics and textiles.

He said after series of consultations with the Nigerian authorities, the Ministry took up the matter with the ECOWAS Trade Ministers' Meetings and the joint Trade and Finance Ministers' Meetings, adding that there was some quiet diplomacy alongside these meetings. He said Nigeria's move was a breach of ECOWAS protocols and after extensive discussions some positive outcomes were achieved including an agreement that the two countries would cooperate in dealing with other relevant matters such as "illegal transhipment and infringement on ECOWAS rules of origin, which affects the competitiveness of local industries in the two countries."