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Nigeria, Ghana parliamentary leaders set to end trade disputes

The leaders of the Nigerian Parliament and their Ghanaian counterparts have commenced talks on how to resolve the trade impasse…

The leaders of the Nigerian Parliament and their Ghanaian counterparts have commenced talks on how to resolve the trade impasse between the two countries.The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin, told a news conference after a closed-door diplomatic meeting in Abuja on Wednesday that the trade dispute would soon become history.-

A statement issued after the closed-door meeting, and signed by Gbajabiamila, said that the Ghanaian lawmaker was admitted to the House to address the members as part of “Parliamentary diplomacy” of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.

Local media reports recalled that the dispute arose from the $1million business participation fee introduced by the Ghanaian authorities, which required foreigners to pay before they can do business in Ghana.

“We got assurance from both sides that the issue of trade dispute will be a thing of the past. We’re now putting up a mechanism to make sure that these issues don’t come up again in the future,” Bagbin said.

Earlier, The Nigerian Speaker said that the closed-door meeting they held was a successful one as issues of interest to both countries were discussed.

 “We’ve more or less concluded the roadmap to achieve lasting solutions to the diplomatic issues with our traders.

“The issue with our traders and the Ghanaian authorities has been addressed today. The Minister of Trade and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs were at the meeting.

“There is a technical committee set up. They will be going to Ghana next week to dot the ‘Is’ and cross the ‘Ts,’” he said.

Gbajabiamila also announced that the two parliaments had established and inaugurated a parliamentary friendship group that would hold talks on the relationship between the two countries.

“We’ve inaugurated the friendship group, and they will start talking on behalf of the two Parliaments.

“I want to thank you, the Hon. Speaker, for your kind words and your determination to see an end to the issue.

“The issue of the Nigerian embassy in Ghana, the Ghanaian authorities have accepted to take responsibility, though it has nothing to do with them, they said they will put it back,” local media reports on Thursday quoted Gbajabiamila as saying.

Responding, Bagbin said: “I want to sincerely thank you so much for the invitation. I can only confirm that everything will be put in place to address the issue of trade between our two countries.

“Let’s ensure that the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria remains cordial and mutual. I thank the Speaker for his commitment and enthusiasm on this matter.”

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