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Ghanaian Speaker tasks FG on review of import prohibition list

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Alban Sumana Kingford Bagbin

Speaker of Ghanaian Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingford Bagbin, has advised the Federal Government to review the list banning importation of specific commodities into Nigeria.

He pleaded with the Nigerian authorities to fine-tune the policy to align with contemporary international trade practices, pledging his parliament’s support to end the impasse between traders of both countries.

Bagbin, who was addressing the House of Representatives at plenary, presided over by its Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday in Abuja, hinted that his leadership had appointed a seven-member committee as his country’s delegation to the joint committee of eminent persons of both nations’ legislatures to ensure enactment of the Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act.

“They will interact with their Nigerian counterparts towards passing the Act for the proposed ‘Ghana-Nigeria Business Council,’ which is intended to provide the legal and institutional framework to sustain the continued friendship and business interests of our people,” he said.

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The visiting lawmaker regarded as commendable the special concession applying to the payment of 0.5 per cent stamp duty on capital by both the GIPC and the registrar-general’s department in respect of investment by foreign nationals.

“Recent and emerging security imperatives necessitate that while we seek to deepen cooperation among citizens of our two countries, we must not fail to prevent opportunists from taking undue advantage of loopholes in our systems that might tend to jeopardise the economic fortunes of our respective countries,” he added.

Bagbin was particularly excited at the joint effort geared at resolving the concerns of Nigerian traders in Ghana.

“That is always the way to go if we are interested in the peace and development of our countries. I am confident that the intervention of our two legislatures in this effort will yield results,” the Ghanaian added.

According to him, increase in trade volumes remained the surest way to deepen regional integration in Africa, attributing the level of poverty on the continent to low levels of intra-trade, compared to those with other parts of the world.

He affirmed his readiness to deepen existing parliamentary diplomacy for resolution of the continent’s current and future challenges, even as he expressed his excitement about the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP) initiative to address the rising debts on the continent, occasioned by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his remarks, Gbajabiamila expressed the hope that the inter-parliamentary relations would improve both diplomatic and business ties.

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