President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has proposed for the establishment of a Ghana-Nigeria Business Council to superintend over trade and investment relations.
This follows the forced closures of some foreign-owned retail shops of Nigerians last year by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on the basis that their presence was ‘illegal’.
Addressing Nigeria’s Speaker of Parliament, Olufemi Gbajabiamila in Accra on September 3, 2020, the president indicated the timing was right for such a council to be established.
“The idea of legislation to promote a Ghana-Nigeria Business Council, that will have superintendence over trade and investment matters between our two countries, is well overdue. It is events that produce institutions, and the time has come for it to be done,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He added, “It will be a good idea to also set up a Joint Ministerial Committee for Ministers on both sides, who would be responsible for shepherding Ghana-Nigerian issues, and reporting to both Presidents at any time when matters occur, and how they should be resolved.”
Meanwhile, Nigerian traders in Ghana say they believe that their businesses in Ghana are ‘under attack’ following the impasse that has led to the closure of some of their shops in Accra and Kumasi.
In December 2019, the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) locked up over six hundred shops belonging to Nigerian retailers at Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
Most of the shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Kumasi in the Ashanti region were also forced to shut down that year after Ghanaian traders alleged that Nigerian traders had taken over the retail business in the country.
This move caused a clash between Ghanaian traders and Nigerian traders leading some persons involved to be arrested while others were badly injured.
Also, the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association is calling on the government to implement the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act, GIPC Act, 2013 (Act 865), to prevent foreigners from the country from engaging in retail trade.
The group wants the Presidential Committee on Retail Trade set up by the government to vet the operating documents of foreigners in the retail business.