President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Nigerians living in Ghana are safe and can continue to live, work, and trade in the country peacefully.
Nigerian residents in the country have, for the past few months, complained over attacks on their businesses by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
There have been reports of Nigerian businesses being forced to shut down on the basis that their presence in Ghana is “illegal”.
About three months ago, some Ghanaians invaded the diplomatic premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra and demolished buildings with bulldozers.
Despite these developments, President Akufo-Addo, in a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Femi Gbajabiamila at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday, said Nigerian residents in Ghana are safe.
He said many Nigerians had lived in Ghana for years while several others had intermarried Ghanaians and were raising their families in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana and Nigeria had enjoyed years of cordial relationship and, therefore, stressed the need for residents from both countries to live and work freely without any inhibitions.
The President suggested the establishment of a joint ministerial committee from both countries to oversee trade and investment activities and protect Nigerian businesses in Ghana and vice-versa.
He said the joint ministerial committee would shepherd Ghana Nigeria trade issues and report to the presidents of both countries anytime issues came up.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed a call by the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives to take a second look at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act which prevents foreigners from engaging in certain trade activities.
He assured that the Ghanaian government would continue to hold discussions with their Nigerian counterparts on how businesses from their countries could operate in each other’s countries peacefully.
He stressed the need for both Ghanaians and Nigerians to continue to live together, adding that “the brotherliness must continue”.
Mr Gbajabiamila, on his part, appealed to the government to consider the possibility of amending the GIPC Act to protect the interest of Nigerians doing genuine business in Ghana.
He said if that was not possible, the government should consider a way to “reduce the pain and difficulties” Nigerian businesses face in Ghana.
The Nigerian Speaker further suggested the establishment of a Ghana Nigeria Business Council with legislative backing from both countries to protect trade and investments in each other’s countries.
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