Speakers of Parliament Reverend Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye and his Nigerian counterpart, Olufemi Gbajabiamila, have held talks to find solutions to the challenges brought about as a result of Ghana’s implementation of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 2013, Act 865.
Discussions so far have been on how the implementation of Act 865 can be implemented in a manner that will not render Nigerian traders in Ghana jobless since most of them have had their shops closed and some fines levied at them, in accordance with the provisions of Act 865.
Ghana’s sovereignty and national interest in the matter has been at the front burner in all the discussions held so far.
Participants in the discussions have included the 12-member delegation from Nigeria, sector ministers for Trade, and National Security, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, the Chairman and Deputy Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Clerk to Parliament, and some key Parliamentary staff.
In his submissions at a round table discussion in Parliament on Wednesday, Speaker Olufemi Gbajabiamila referred to the economic, social and political ties that bind Ghana and Nigeria together and urged that the two countries to use legislative diplomacy to resolve the issues confronting them.
This, he said, is most appropriate, since he and Speaker Oquaye had, on previous occasions, worked together, using the same tools to resolve economic issues not only between the two countries but in the sub-region.
Minister of Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen explained the context of the GIPC Act and its implementation and said that it was not targeted at any particular nationals and definitely not Nigerians.
He outlined ways by which the two countries can have mutual trade relations with the requisite benefits.
Assuring Nigeria of Ghana’s good intentions, Speaker Oquaye pointed out that reports on the matter may have escalated tensions and cautioned that private or commercial arrangements between individuals and organizations of the two countries should not be confused with governments’ engagements.
He also encouraged the use of diplomacy in the resolutions.
Both countries are keen on finding a lasting solution to the matter.