- Published on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 13:56
- Published by Andrea Ayemoba
- Hits: 430
Seth Adjei Baah, President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce & Industry, has disclosed that Nigeria and Ghana are set to form a joint committee to look into the simmering tension over trade issues.
This was made known yesterday when the Nigerian High Commissioner, Ademola Oluseyi Onafowokan paid a courtesy call on members of the Chamber.
The visit of the High Commissioner comes on the heels of agitations by members of the Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana chapter (NUTAG), who have accused the Ministry of Trade and Industry of violating ECOWAS protocol by closing some of shops of its members at Okaishie last week.
However, the GCCI president explained that every country under ECOWAS is sovereign, adding ECOWAS respects the sovereign laws of each member state.
He explained that the per Ghana’s laws persons, who have interest in investing in Ghana, should have at least a minimum of $10,000 to start an industry “but this has not been the case. Foreigners have swarmed the Ghanaian market and are petty-trading.”
He insisted that petty trading had been reserved for indigenes.
He noted that Nigeria also has its own laws that protect indigenous businesses, adding that rice importation was banned in that country.
Currently, as the law stands, Ghanaians cannot export rice to Nigeria because of the ban on rice importation there, Mr Adjei Baah explained.
He said that if due process was followed, there would be no worries.
The Nigerian High Commission, on his part, suggested that it was about time ECOWAS considered enacting a harmonized law on trade to bring all member states under one umbrella in the area of trade and industry.
The two entities agreed that there would be an exchange programme where a delegation from the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Industry would visit Ghana to deliberate on the way forward while Ghana reciprocates the gesture at a later time.
On Wednesday, a number of shops allegedly belonging to about 40 Nigerians were closed down permanently, with the Trade’s Ministry ruling out any dialogue.
The affected persons threatened to inform their relations back home to do same against Ghanaians living in Nigeria.
They argued that Ghana is a signatory to the ECOWAS Treaty and therefore should not treat foreign traders from member states as foreigners.
They insisted that all ECOWAS members must be ruled by the same law, calling and both governments and ECOWAS to intervene in the matter.