The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has said that he is hopeful that Nigeria and Ghana will arrive at mutually acceptable resolutions to the trade disputes that erupted some weeks back.
The Speaker, who led a delegation of lawmakers from the House of Representatives, said this when they were received by the Speaker of the Ghanaian parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye, as they arrived Accra, the capital of Ghana, on a legislative diplomatic mission.
Alongside the Speaker on the legislative diplomatic mission to Ghana is the Chairman House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Buba Yusuf; Chairman House Committee on Media, Rep. Ben Kalu, House Member of Ecowas Parliament, Rep. Bayo Balogun, Rep. Engr. Ikenna Elezieanya, Rep Ephraim Nwuzi and Rep. Shehu Balarabe Kakale. Welcoming the Nigerian delegation, the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Rt Hon Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye expressed confidence for an amicable resolution of the issues.
“I trust in the next two days we will bring a beautiful reunion to our two Nations.” Ghanaian Speaker said.
Responding, Speaker Gbajabiamila, while thanking his counterpart for the warm welcome, emphasized that within the next two days of discussions, hopefully, they would be able to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution between both countries.
He said, “There’s something in modern-day parlance called legislative diplomacy or parliamentary diplomacy, and that’s what obtains all over the world today.
“In Africa, you cannot talk about Nigeria without talking about Ghana and you cannot talk about Ghana without talking about Nigeria and therefore it has become incumbent on us to bring to bear this concept of legislative diplomacy for fruitful results.
Afterwards, the Speaker and his delegation made their way to the Nigerian High Commission where they met with Leaders of the Nigerian Union of Traders and Selected Stakeholders. It was a chance for the Speaker and his team to hear from the traders about their experiences.
The leader of the Nigerian traders in Ghana, Chief Chukwuemeka Levi Nnaji informed Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila that while many Nigerian traders could not afford the latest $1m trade registration fees, those that paid still had their shops under lock and key.
With about 250 shops locked up by the authorities, the situation has led to the death of some of their members, he disclosed. He appealed to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to ensure that the resolutions arrived at are implemented by the Ghanaian authorities.