Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye and his counterpart Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Olufemi Gbajabiamila, have agreed to set up a joint committee made up of members from the two Legislative bodies to consider a reciprocal enactment of a legislation to cement the long lasting socio-economic ties between the two countries.
The would-be enactment which is expected to set up the Ghana-Nigeria Business Council is to be known as the Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act. This is to ensure that business interests from citizens of both countries are protected.
This is as a result of a communique from a round-table discussion involving a 12 man delegation from the Nigerian House of Representatives and their Ghanaian counterparts in pursuance of a Legislative Diplomacy between the Speakers of the two countries as part of a two-day visit by Rt. Hon. Speaker Olufemi Gbajabiamila to Ghana on Wednesday and Thursday, September 2nd and 3rd, 2020.
The Nigerian Speaker’s visit was occasioned by the trade related diplomatic impasse between the two countries involving the closure of some shops in the country belonging to some foreigners including some Nigerian nationals as a result of Ghana’s implementation of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 2013, Act 865.
This development escalated diplomatic tensions between the two West African nations, especially coming at the heels of a diplomatic incident occasioned by a recent demolition of a property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana.
Committed to using legislative diplomacy to resolve the impasse, the Legislative Heads of both countries, earlier in their submissions at a round-table discussion in Parliament when the Rt. Hon. Speaker Olufemi Gbajabiamila called on the Rt. Hon. Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye on Wednesday 02/09/2020, they referred to the need to protect the economic, social and political ties that bind Ghana and Nigeria together and urged that the two countries find amicable means to resolve the issues confronting them.
As the result, the communique resolved among others that, “measures would be adopted to support law abiding traders to properly regularize their business operations to alleviate the trade challenges occasioned by the alleged closure of the retail stores in view of the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and families of both countries.
“Meeting will be held between the Trade and Foreign Affairs Committees of both legislatures to deliberate on applications of the Trade Laws, in particular the GIPC Act 2013, Act 865 and make recommendations for appropriate solutions.
“A joint committee would be established, composed of Members of the Legislature to expose and explore the possible passage of reciprocal legislation which could be potentially called the Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act, which shall propose the Ghana-Nigeria Business Council to provide the legal framework to sustain the friendship to benefit citizens of the two nations.”
The communique was read on behalf of the leaders by the Clerk to the Parliament of Ghana, Mr. Cyril Nsiah and the Chairman of the Spokesperson for the Nigerian House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu at the farewell meeting held at the Presidential Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport before the departure of the Rt. Hon. Speaker Olufemi Gbajabiamila to his country.
The two Speakers further expressed the commitment of their respective Legislatures to continuously explore legislative diplomacy as a tool to complement the efforts of the Executive in the promotion of peace, security, economic cooperation, and development between Ghana and Nigeria and the African continent as a whole.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com and parliamentnews360.com