Nigeria, Ghana Parliament Speakers Meet Over Diplomatic Row

Nigeria’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, is on his way for a crucial meeting with his counterpart in Ghana following a faceoff between both countries’.

The two West African neighbours have been in a diplomatic row over the closure of shops owned by Nigerians in Ghana.

Ghanaian authorities claimed the shops closed failed to pay a $1 million levy imposed on all foreign owned businesses, but Nigerians in the country claimed their shops were still closed even after they had paid the levy.

Gbajabiamila had last week, said the closure of Nigerian shops in Ghana contravened Economic Community of West African States – ECOWAS – trade protocols and called for a decisive solution between both countries.

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On Tuesday, while addressing newsmen after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Gbajabiamila, decribed the visit as “legislative diplomacy”.

“I will be leaving for Ghana tomorrow to meet with the Speaker of the Parliament in Ghana to assess the issues on the ground as they affect our citizens. Then, we will try and calm things down and see if there’s a way forward.

“I’ll meet with the Speaker on Wednesday. I informed the President and he’s aware of every single step that we are taking all the way. We hope that we’ll come to an amicable settlement, one way or the other.

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“It’s called legislative diplomacy. If you remember very well, during the days when I was Leader of the House, I led the delegation to South Africa during the crisis there with Nigerians. We were able to accomplish quite a bit, to simmer things down at that time,” he said.

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