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Ghana to revisit $1 million trade levy on Nigerians, others


Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the country will revisit the $1 million mandatory business capital for Nigerians and other nationals as a requirement for doing business.

“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,” Addo said during a meeting with Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Amongst other demands, Gbajabiamila who is on a visit to Ghana over the continued hostilities towards Nigerian residents and entrepreneurs in Ghana, urged the president to revisit the component of the law that requires a capital base of $1,000,000.

“We do believe that while it’s the sovereign right of the government of Ghana to pass and implement the GIPC Act, we’d implore you to explore alternative and less aggressive options of engaging, sanctioning and relating with our traders and business people.

“We’d encourage you to revisit the component of the law that requires a capital base of $1,000,000.

“We’re all Africans, we all have towns and villages, and we know only too well that the majority of our traders across the continent are petty traders,” he said.

While reacting to Gbajabiamila, the Ghanaian president said a Nigeria-Ghana business council, as suggested by Gbajabiamila, will “superintendent trade matters and investment matters between our two countries, maybe long overdue.”

The Nigerian government last week warned that it would no longer tolerate hostilities towards Nigerian residents in Ghana.

Information minister, Lai Mohammed, said that Ghanaian officials seized a property in Accra, which the Nigerian government had used as diplomatic premises for almost 50 years.

He also alleged “aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana,” noting that between January 2018 and February 2019, no fewer than 825 Nigerians were deported from that country.

But in a counter-statement, Ghana’s information minister, Kolo Nkrumah, said Mohammed’s account was not accurate.

Nkrumah added that the deportations were over criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution and armed robbery.

After meeting President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila told State House reporters he will be meeting the Speaker of the parliament in Ghana on Wednesday “to look at the issues on the ground, as it affects our citizens, and to try and calm things down and see if there’s a way forward.”

He added that the “legislative diplomacy” move was aimed  calming nerves and reach an amicable settlement of the disputes between the two countries.

He said Nigeria is not making any demands. “We are just going to discuss in the spirit of African Parliaments and we will be looking at issues from time to time as they affect African countries and this is one of them.”

“We are two strong West African countries and there must be symbiosis, we must work together. You don’t get anything from working at cross-purposes or knocking heads together. We must, at all times, as Africans, work as best as possible together and that’s what this my trip is about,” Mr Gbajabiamila added.

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