Ghana lobbies Nigeria on import prohibitions

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To increase the volume of trades among Nigeria and Ghana, the Ghanaian government has asked Nigeria to consider a review of the prohibition list banning the importation of specific goods and commodities from other countries.

Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Suman Kingsford Bagbin, made the request while addressing members of the House of Representatives during Wednesday’s plenary.

The Ghanaian Speaker decried the low level of trade between African countries, noting  that “of about US$460 billion trade volume, only US$69 billion was transacted among African nations.”

He said that the Parliament was making efforts at resolving the concerns of the Nigerian traders in his country through a joint effort between the two nations.

He said, “That is always the way to go if we are interested in the peace and development of our countries. I am confident that the intervention of our two legislatures in this effort will yield results. Whilst at it, it is said that it must be peace without victory.

“Only peace between equals can last. To this end, it will be highly appreciated if the Government of Nigeria will review the prohibition list banning the importation of specific goods and commodities into the Nigerian market, from countries including Ghana.

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“This request is underscored by the resolution as captured in the communique of 31st May 2021 referred to supra. I have no doubt, Rt. Hon. Speaker, under your sterling leadership of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, an institution of measureless might and majesty, Nigeria can fine tune the prohibition list to align with contemporary international trade practices.”

According to him,  “The coming into being of the African Continental Free Trade Area signals that we are open for business and mutually beneficial investments. Indeed, Africa’s prosperity depends largely on intra African trade. Increase in trade volumes is the surest way to deepen regional integration in Africa.

“The low levels of trade among African countries as compared to trade with other parts of the world constitute one of the defining characteristics of our continued poverty.

“Data available from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) indicates that in 2019 Africa’s total volume of trade was about US$460 billion, however only US$69 billion of this huge volume of trade was transacted among African nations.

“What is even more worrying is that most of these imports traded can be produced and procured in Africa. This unfortunate trend hinders prospects of bringing the needed prosperity to our people.

“It results in the frailty of our security situation given that the rising youth unemployment on our continent which is the world’s youngest continent, occasioned by this unpleasant development, provides handy tools to those so minded to perpetrate all acts of vandalism, hooliganism and violent extremism.”

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