President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng fears the possibility of Ghana being shortchanged in the proposed Friendship Act with Nigeria.
“I think we have to tread cautiously. What do we seek to gain in relaxing our trade laws for a population of over 200 million? We have been overtaken by events. The coming of the AfCFTA takes care of trade issues and that is where Nigeria must head towards,” he argued.
Reacting to calls by the Nigerian House of Representatives for a review of Ghana’s GIPC ACT – which calls for an investment of at least US$300,000 for foreign traders to venture into Ghana’s retail space, Dr. Joseph Obeng insisted that laws in Ghana can only be reviewed per national referendum.
“The laws of a country are revised based on the demands of the citizens and not the demands of a foreigner”, he emphasised
A joint committee between Ghana and Nigeria is to be established to consider a possible Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act to put to an end decades of retail feud between traders of the two countries.
This was made known when the speakers of Ghana and Nigeria’s parliament issued a joint communique to that effect.
“In cognisance on the negative impact this development could have on our trade ties, we proposes joint committee to be established composed of members of both legislature to expose and explore the possible passage of reciprocal legislations which will be potentially called the Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act or Business Council to foster trade relations with the two nations,” Spokesperson of Nigeria’s House of Representative, Benjamin Kalu revealed.
GUTA maintains that per the ECOWAS rule of origin, foreign traders from the ECOWAS sub region are only permitted to trade in goods that are manufactured in their respective countries.
And any other attempt to trade in goods that are not manufactured from one’s respective country will demand that the trader satisfies the GIPC conditions on retail trade in the country.