Ghana and Nigeria have signed a joint communique that spells out exemptions for Nigerians from the $1 million minimum capital requirement under the GIPC Act 2013, Act 865.
The deal was signed on the sidelines of between the Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit held recently.
Nigerians, like other foreigners, are prevented from engaging in retail trading in Ghana without coughing up the mandatory US$1 million minimum investment.
Nigerians fell foul of these requirements and had sparked a virtual trade war between the two countries.
However, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Bagbin recently announced the agreements reached by the two West African countries with strong socio-political ties.
According to Mr Bagbin, this intervention ends the 25-year retail impasse between Ghana and Nigeria.
“…of particular mention is the reconsideration of the $1 million minimum requirement for trading enterprises under section 28(2) of the Act. This is to facilitate regularization of the businesses of affected Nigerian retail traders in the trade impasse,” he said.
“Equally commendable is the special concession to be applied to a requirement for a payment of 0.5 stamp duty. Our Parliament is working to make sure this does not apply to our brothers and sisters from Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has held strong exceptions to this announcement by the Speaker of Parliament.
President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, condemns the announcement, stating it is a slap on the faces of Ghanaian traders.
He is warning that any attempt to review the GIPC Act 2013 will spell economic and security doom for Ghana.
“The joint communique has not even surfaced. We all factored in our inputs. It is something unknown to stakeholders. What was the Speaker talking about? Was it to please the people of Nigeria as against the people of Ghana?”
“The trading community in Ghana wants this law, and it should be made clear. Traders in Ghana might seem to be gentle, but we must be careful because they are very passionate about this law. This law pulled the brakes on Nigerian retailers overtaking our markets. These exemptions will do us more harm than any good,” Dr. Obeng told the media.