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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Trade impasse: Ghana-Nigeria brotherliness will continue – Akufo-Addo

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President  Akufo-Addo has pledged to do whatever is necessary to strengthen the already-strong relations between Ghana and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to President Akufo-Addo, it is important for the progress of West Africa and, indeed, Africa, that Ghana and Nigeria are seen to be working together, and has assured that the two countries will continue down that path.

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The President made this known on Thursday, 3rd September 2020, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Femi Gbajabiamila, paid a courtesy call on him at Jubilee House, at the end of his 2-day visit to Ghana, at the invitation of the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.

Welcoming Nigeria’s Speaker and his delegation to Ghana, President Akufo-Addo explained that when the statement from the Nigerian Minister for Information “warning Ghana over incessant harassment of Nigerians” came out, he was very much alarmed.

“I was alarmed because, if they were the sentiments and attitudes of the Federal Government of Nigeria, then we were in a really serious problem,” he said.

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The President continued, “I thought it best to speak to Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) as soon as possible, which I did, and then I was informed by the Speaker (of Ghana’s Parliament) that he had taken an independent course of action in the matter by speaking to you (the Speaker of Nigeria’s Parliament), and inviting you to come to Ghana to talk about the issues that emerged from the statement,” he said.

Commending Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila for taking up the invitation, President Akufo-Addo stated that the result of the meeting between the Ghanaian and Nigerian Speakers is the way forward, and very acceptable to him.

“The idea of legislation to promote a Ghana-Nigeria Business Council, that will have superintendence over trade and investment matters between our two countries, is well overdue. It is events that produces institutions, and the time has come for it to be done,” he said.

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Additionally, the President stated that “it will be a good idea also to set up a joint Ministerial Committee for Ministers on both sides, who would be responsible for shepherding Ghana-Nigerian issues, and reporting to both Presidents at any time when matters occur, and how they should be resolved.”

In concluding, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians and Nigerians to build on the strong relations that have existed between the two countries, or, at the very least, make sure that the current status quo is preserved.

He reassured Speaker Gbajabiamila that the “Nigerian population in Ghana are safe, many of them have lived for centuries trading and doing business in Ghana without any difficulties, and that culture of co-operation and brotherliness will continue.”


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