Connect with us

Latest News

Femi Gbajabiamila Strongly Urges Ghana To Revisit Law On $1m Business Capital

Wisdom Nwachukwu

Published

on

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has made some far-reaching proposals that would bring an end to the attacks on Nigerian traders doing business in Ghana.

During a ‘Legislative Diplomacy’ bilateral meeting with Ghanaian lawmakers and some top government officials as part of his ongoing visit to Ghana to resolve the crisis, Gbajabiamila advocated for an amicable settlement of trade disputes through arbitration and fair judicial processes.

The Speaker also said he would be glad to champion a law to improve the bilateral trade relations between Nigeria and Ghana, noting that citizens of the two countries remain brothers and sisters.

He called on Ghanaian authorities to revisit the component of the law that requires a capital base of $1 million for businesses to start, saying as Africans, Ghana should encourage brotherliness.

“First, the amicable settlement of trade disputes through arbitration and fair judicial processes. In this context, we do believe that while it is the sovereign right of the government of Ghana to pass and implement the GIPC Act, we would implore you to explore alternative and less aggressive options of engaging, sanctioning and relating with our traders and business people who operate in your country, pay taxes and contribute to the development of both our nations.

“Secondly, we would encourage you to revisit the component of the law that requires a capital base of $1,000,000. We are all Africans, we all have towns and villages, and we know only too well that majority of our traders across the continent are petty traders. The prospect of them being able to raise a capital base of $1,000,000 before they can trade in goods that may be worth less than $1,000, clearly is a major challenge.

“Thirdly, one of the things we are all proud about and the common surname that we all bear is ‘ECOWAS’ and as you know, by virtue of being ECOWAS countries, our nations and our citizens should be able to live, work and thrive in any of our nations without any form of hindrance or discrimination.

“It is in this light we would encourage that we explore how the principles and the application of ECOWAS protocols – which we are both signatories to – may perhaps conflict with the application of the GIPC Act, especially vis-à-vis the recent adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACfTA) by African nations; and also the movement towards a single currency in the West African sub region.

READ  Many injured as gas explodes in Iju, Lagos

“Fourth, is the importance of strengthening legislative diplomacy and collaboration. Legislative diplomacy is a tool that has been used across the world – both in developing and developed nations – to negotiate, to arbitrate and to find a peaceful resolution to disputes between nations.

Legislative diplomacy is akin to back-channel diplomacy, which in many cases, makes it more possible for countries to debate and find solutions to problems, without any country losing face publicly.

“In this regard, I do believe that this step both our parliaments have taken to sit, to discuss, deliberate and find solutions; is a sterling example of legislative diplomacy, which the rest of the continent can follow to ensure that while the executive arm of government is performing its duties, that we in the legislature can also leverage our knowledge, our experience, the relationships we have amongst ourselves, to complement efforts in finding collective solutions to our shared problems.

“Fifth, as I said right from the beginning, Nigeria and Ghana are siblings from the same family. I for one would be willing to champion a law that helps to improve the bilateral trade relations and reciprocal legislation between our two countries and in this regard, we would like to explore the possibility of jointly passing what we could potentially call a Nigeria-Ghana Friendship Act – or something in that line, which will help to cement into law the good relations between our countries and also create a legal framework for further camaraderie that will enable us to ensure that, when it comes to Nigeria and Ghana, our laws will support efforts to improve relations, trade and positive and friendly interactions between our citizens, institutions and our governments.

“We do not have an exact title for such a law as at now, but agreeing on reciprocal legislation that cements the friendship between our nations; and ensures that it continues to thrive and benefit all our citizens – no matter where they live – would go a long way in strengthening our relations on all levels,” Gbajabiamila said.

READ  SARS: IGP shares light on new Anti-Robbery unit

Noting that the relationship between Nigeria and Ghana is one of the most important in Africa, Hon. Gbajabiamila said at a time the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impacts and the pressures on public coffers “and service delivery systems are weighing heavily on us all, it is clear that this is not a time for conflict and disagreements, but a time for partnership and solidarity.”

He said it is in a bid to improve the bilateral relationships among African countries that he has been championing the creation of the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP) aimed at identifying, discussing and resolving issues and challenges that affect growth, stability and development within different regions and across the continent.

“While our countries share a constructive and healthy rivalry in several areas – ranging from football to music, food and movie production, amongst others – we know that our healthy rivalry is based more on friendship than enmity and more on healthy competition than destructive confrontation.

“We are friends, we are family, we are one and are determined to remain so, as we continue what our founding fathers started over six decades ago. These reasons, ladies and gentlemen, is why we are here: to deliberate on how we can jointly overcome current challenges and together, build the peaceful and prosperous future we both seek for our countries and our citizens.”

According to Gbajabiamila, the challenges that Nigerian traders face in Ghana are a cause for deep concern for all arms of the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people, calling for urgent action to end the hostility.

Hon. Gbajabiamila added that: “The escalation of the tensions between our citizens and our nations is nothing for either of our countries to be proud of.

“And therefore, as I said today at the Nigeria High Commission, it is important that we leaders ensure that our utterances and our actions; and what is reported in our media do not fan the flames of conflict and confrontation, but instead, fuel the possibilities of first de-escalating tensions; finding constructive options for resolution; and working together to effectively implement those solutions, both here in Ghana as well as in Nigeria.”

READ  Is aresenal going to survive after the transfer of their star player?

Speaking, the Ghanaian Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyeremateng, said there are many Ghanaians and Nigerians who are going about their lawful duties without difficulties.

“The incidence that has occurred where some shops were locked up must have risen out of situations where there were clear abuses of the application of the laws.

“I was happy that the Nigerian Speaker of the House of Representatives mentioned that if they are doing legitimate business, please allow them as brothers and sisters to continue to do so. I want to give you that assurance that that will be the case. Anybody engaged in business, trading, doing the rightful things, they must have no difficulties.

“Even in cases where we found that in some instances where the laws were not being followed, I, in my capacity as the Minister of Trade, had ordered that they shut the office and those who are being seen as offending the law be given an opportunity to regularise their documentation.

“I say this, being the Minister of Trade and Industry, this is not something that is new, I have always since the time I’ve been a Minister found a way of going along, so that those who needed to regularize their businesses would do so.

“Also as indicated by the Speaker, that it will be a desire to see whether certain aspects of the law could be looked at, I’m sure the Speaker will look at that request and appropriate Committees would be engaged on the subject.

“As long as the laws remain on our statute books, I will like to request that, you send a strong signal to our brothers and sisters who are engaged in retail trading that at least for now until further considerations are made on our statute books, they should just respect the law because Ghanaian traders themselves are required to respect the laws of our country. And in that sense, it will be discriminatory for us to require Ghanaians to respect the same laws in our statute books and not require foreigners to do so.”

According to the statement, a communique is expected to be issued after the meeting which lasted into the night on Wednesday.

SOURCE: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News

FG threatens to make migration difficult for doctors

Wisdom Nwachukwu

Published

on

Dr Osagie Ehanire, The Minister for Health, made it clear that the federal government will do everything within her power to discourage doctors from travelling outside Nigeria.

The Minister said that the government will provide adequate medical facilities and also provide incentives that will discourage the Doctors from traveling outside the country, he said this on Friday in Abuja after inspecting the Cancer Centre in the National Hospital Abuja.

He said “I have heard the challenge of doctors leaving the country. We have plans to provide better funding for our hospitals in Nigeria and make such migration unattractive,”

Dr Osagie Ehanire praised the hospital staffs and administration, and encouraged them to better, he urged the hospital to be ready incase the global corona virus resurface again as seen in other countries. He advised the hospital to make judicious use of the funds made available to them.

READ  Many injured as gas explodes in Iju, Lagos

He added “Schools are resuming, people are travelling in and out the country so we must be prepared for any emergency”.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Banks commence emergency system update due to threats from Anonymous

Wisdom Nwachukwu

Published

on

A global hacktivist network known as Anonymous stirred an aggressive campaign in Nigeria two weeks ago, Nigerian banks as part of the precautionary measure has decided embark on an immediate emergency upgrade.

Mohammed Abdullahi Minister of State for Science and Technology confirmed the threat from Anonymous, he clearly stated there was a well planned attacks on important government Databases.

Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, also  admitted that some government websites were tampered with. He said: ‘‘On my instruction, the NITDA and NCC worked almost round the clock last week to rectify the situation and ensure no vital data was compromised. I am happy the websites are back and running now.”

READ  BREAKING: Gunmen Attack SARS in Enugu, Kills 6 SARs officials, injures many and set prisoners free

He also assured Nigerians that stringent measures have been take taken to avoid further attacks,  emphasized  for all the relevant organization to upgrade their system.

 

 

Continue Reading

Latest News

21 people confirmed dead in an auto crash at Enugu State.

Benjamin Ukpabi

Published

on

21 people have been confirmed dead in an auto crash at Enugu State

Twenty-one people, including schoolchildren, have died in an accident in Enugu State, south-east Nigeria.

The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Enugu, Ogbonna Kalu, confirmed the incident on Thursday.

He explained that the nature of the accident was a collision that involved a school bus and a trailer in the state.

Kalu added that the incident happened at Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of the state, saying it was as a result of dangerous driving.

 

The Federal Road Safety Corps, on Thursday, confirmed the death of 21 people, including school children, in an auto crash at Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.

READ  Fuel Price/Electricity Tariff Hike: Judicial workers declare two-week indefinite strike

The Enugu Sector Commander, Mr Ogbonna Kalu, who confirmed the incident, said the accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon.

He said the accident involved a school bus and trailer.

The commander blamed the accident on speeding beyond the limit and dangerous driving.

Kalu said, “21 persons have been confirmed dead and more than 50 persons were in the school bus.

“Also of note is that not all the deaths were school children. Those working on the roadside were part of the casualties.

“From available information, the accident was caused by dangerous driving.”

We gathered that the tragic incident occurred when a Lowbed truck belonging to a construction firm working at Oji-River – Awgu Federal Road lost control and rammed into a school bus conveying over 60 pupils of the Presentation Nursery and Primary School, Awgu owned by the Catholic Diocese of Awgu home.

READ  FG Reopens All Domestic Airports For Flights

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending