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HICOM of Tanzania to Nigeria, Benson Alfred Bana; Special adviser to Lagos State Government on SDG’s, Mrs Solape Hammond;Dean, Lagos Business School, Prof. Chris Ogbechie; HICOM of Kenya to Nigeria, Amb. (DR) Wilfred G. Machage, MGH; Acting Chief Trade Negotiator/ DG of Nigerian office for Trade Negotiations, Mr. Victor Liman, during a virtual conference on AfCFTA: Roadmap to a successful Implementation organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Lagos on Tuesday 15th March, 2021

Nigeria, Ghana Urged to Explore AFCFTA Opportunities

The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, has stated there is need for Nigeria and Ghana to explore opportunities coming as a result of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).

Olawale-Cole, who disclosed this recently at the Ghana Nigeria Business Council CEO Forum, said for more than five decades, Nigeria and Ghana have established bilateral relationship in line with mutual interest of both countries for their individual economic development agenda and shared prosperity for the West African region.

He also noted that the relationship between the two largest economies in the West Africa subregion has metamorphosed from merchandise trade into international trade in goods and services.

The LCCI president hinted that Nigeria has the second largest business portfolio in Ghana, only second to China.

Olawale-Cole further explained that recently, the relationship between the two countries have suffered series of setbacks occasioned by episodes of trade attacks and disputes, noting that the use of discriminatory trade policies, high tariffs, border closures, “and harsh business environment have impacted negatively on our trade volumes.”

He remarked that the chamber of commerce and the business council should work assiduously towards boosting trade between the two countries neighbouring countries.

Olawale-Cole added that the LCCI would continue to promote initiatives for free market economy, spur bilateral cooperation and accelerate integration of the continent.

Earlier, his remarks, the Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, Alhaji Rashid Bawa, stated that the perennial tension between Ghana and Nigerian traders in Ghana are being resolved, noting that the forum aims to encourage the private sector operatives of the two countries to pull resources together to be competitive when trading under the AFCFTA picks up.

Bawa, who was represented at the event by the Consul-General of Ghana in Lagos, Madam Samata Gifty Bukari, revealed that Ghana have always sought to maintain and consolidate the friendly relations the country has with the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a matter of national interest.

He further explained that it is a matter of importance that the two countries have much in common and are bound by many long- lasting ties of cooperation, adding that relations between Ghana and Nigeria have been characterised and sustained by regular high-level consultative visits.

According to Bawa, “Relations between our two countries have been sustained by collaborations between their private sectors. This development has positioned Ghana and Nigeria as the two dominant economies in the West African sub-region. Obviously, the ties that bind us also mean that we have become interdependent. As a result, developments in Nigeria tend to have a ripple effect on Ghana and vice versa.

“The perennial tension between Ghana and Nigerian traders in Ghana are being resolved. Let me disclose that the Ministers of Trade of Ghana and Nigeria, late last year, signed a joint agreement that establishes a framework to guide the engagement between the two countries in resolving the issues between Ghanaian retail traders and their counterparts from Nigeria. I believe the officials of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) who are here today will be able to provide us with details of the modalities being put in place.”

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