The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has promised that his country will review the $1 million foreign equity imposed on Nigerian traders as part of requirement for the Ghana Promotion Investment Council (GIPC) registration.
This piece of good news was disclosed in a statement signed by Benjamin Kalu, spokesman of the Ghanaian House of Representatives after a meeting with the Speaker of the NigerianHouse of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Nigerian traders in Ghana had lamented the closure and destruction of their shops over failure to provide evidence of GIPC registration.
According to the traders, the registration requires $1 million in foreign equity which they had found difficult to provide.
However, according to the statement, Akufo-Addo gave the assurance of looking into the GIPC requirement when Mike Oquaye, Speaker of the Ghanaian parliament, when Gbajabiamila paid a courtesy call to the Akufo-Addo at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Jubilee House, Accra.
The dialogue was set up for the two countries to seek modalities in order to settle challenges and provide an enabling business environment for foreign traders, including Nigerians doing business in Ghana.
Responding to a request by Gbajabiamila for a revisit of the GIPC policy, Akufo-Addo said the request for a review would be considered.
“I think the way forward, which is really what matters in situations like this, that is being suggested, one that I find very acceptable, a Nigeria-Ghana business council that will superintend over trade matters and investment matters between our two countries, may be long overdue.
The time has come for us to take these worthwhile steps. I suggested to Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) that it will be a good idea to set up a joint ministerial committee from both sides who will be responsible for shepherding Ghana and Nigeria issues, reporting to both presidents at any one time, and that is how they should be settled.
I am hoping when I see him (Buhari) on Monday for the ECOWAS summit, we can advance these discussions and come to a final conclusion. The way you yourselves have come about this matter is very satisfactory and it requires our support.
The review that you are asking for, why not? If it works in our mutual perspectives, we can take it for granted that your request will be taken seriously. We will have a look at it,” Akufo-Addo said.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued jointly at the end of the bilateral meeting, it was resolved that ‘measures will be adopted to support law-abiding traders to properly regularise their business operations to alleviate the trade challenges occasioned by the alleged closure of the retail stores.’
According to the communique, the decision was taken in view of the ravaging impact of COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and families in both countries.