• Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has clarified comments he made relative to Ghana – Nigeria trade
• Reports emerged that Bagbin had called Ghanaian businesses opportunists during an address in Nigeria
• The Speaker has clarified his comments and accepted an apology from GUTA
Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, has clarified comments he is reported to have made suggesting that Ghanaian traders were opportunists when he addressed Nigeria’s National Assembly on July 7, 2021.
Bagbin told officials of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) during a meeting on Tuesday: “I was talking about others trying to take an opportunity of some weaknesses in our system.
“How can I go to Nigeria to serve Ghanaians and attack them before Nigerians and call my own people opportunists? Where is this coming from?” he quizzed.
“I will never go and sell Ghana for a pittance. If I wanted money, by this time I would have been one of the richest in Ghana,” Mr. Bagbin said.
Bagbin in his address in Abuja had cautioned that both nations “must not fail to prevent opportunists from taking undue advantage of loopholes in our systems that may jeopardise the economic countries of our respective countries.”
GUTA president Dr. Joseph Obeng who led a delegation that met with Bagbin in Parliament, subsequently apologized for the critical views that his group aired over the purported comments.
He, however, stressed the need for the legislature to continue to push for the interest of Ghanaian businesses.
The GUTA boss also insisted that a proposal to reconsider the US$1 million minimum capital requirement for Nigerian traders operating in Ghana needed to be maintained because reviewing it down will affect Ghanaian businesses.
Bagbin also assured that the Ghana Investment Promotion Council, GIPC, law which imposes that requirement among other parameters remained intact and will not be altered.
It is based on that law that Ghanaian businesses have clashed with Nigerian traders in parts of the country to the extent of closing down those that are in contravention of regulations.
The law bars a foreigner from investing in or participating in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market – be it petty trading, hawking or selling products in a stall at any place.