For Immediate Release
24th June 2020
TO: All Media Houses
In the last few days this organisation which is focused on researching and developing policies on trade, investment and industry in Africa for sustainable economic development, has followed various newspaper reports and interviews from both Ghanaian and Nigerian governments officials on an alleged illegal demolition of part of a building under construction by the High Commission of Nigeria for its staff by some Ghanaian citizens.
Under international law and diplomatic protocols, this act on the face of it shall be tantamount to breaches with serious consequences for Ghana unless proven otherwise.
Our monitoring of the government of Ghana’s responses to all the allegations and accusations from the Nigerian officials reveals that the government of Ghana denies flatly any knowledge, support, sanctioning and complicity in such illegal and undiplomatic attack on the sovereignty of the Republic of Nigeria. Our initial information reveals that the whole showmanship and demolition was carried out by private individuals acting with the support of a sectional authority of the Ga traditional area.
As we wait for investigations to be concluded and final resolutions to this matter, we wish to make the following points strongly as an organisation primarily concerned with promoting research into policies on African trade and investment for sustainable development:
- That the nexus between peace and development is a time long-tested brocard in the economics of development BUT at the same time not immune to disturbances, deliberate or otherwise by state and non-state actors. It is therefore imperative to admonish for the cherishing of the territorial peace that exists between nations as a precious pearl. We, therefore, call on the authorities of both countries to be guided by this truism.
- We note that apart from the Alien Enterprises Licensing Regulations, 1970 (LI 670) promulgated pursuant to section 26 (1) of the Ghanaian Business (Promotion) Act, 1970 (Act 334) which restricted foreign sales agents and investment opportunities to foreign businesses that marred the Ghana-Nigeria relationship in the 1970s, the two countries have had a long history of peaceful international relation. This must not to be disturbed overtly or covertly by any motivation under any dispensation or regime in our time. Posterity will require the current leaderships of both countries to preserve and improve on this long-cherished cordial relationship for the sake of sustainable development.
- Most importantly, CATIPs-Ghana recognises that the economic relations via the conduit of trade and investment must be the most important concern to both countries during this COVID-19 pandemic era. It is however regrettable that over the last eight months, cross-border trade relations and activities between the two countries have badly been bruised with spat under many circumstances which we deem resolvable. Whiles these matters have not been adequately resolved to ease trading activities smoothly, one would least expect a further degeneration through such unacceptable diplomatic lapses. Whiles Ghana assumes a key position in the affairs of ECOWAS, Nigeria is undoubted “a big brother” in this sub-continental arrangement. Even more disturbing is the fact that Ghana hosts the Secretariat of the African Union’s Continental Free Trade Area which requires a higher standard of diplomatic and security protocols for all member countries and other missions and citizens in Ghana.
- We fear that this incidence may affect the already fragile trade and investment relations among these countries, their merchants and investors. It is our contention that this will not inure any benefits to the citizens and businesses of these countries in the long run.
- CATIPs- GHANA call on the Ghanaian government as a matter of urgency to extend the sincerest olive branch to its counterpart in Nigeria to begin frantic discussions and employ every possible dispute resolution mechanism at resolving this matter in particular, and all outstanding issues that are impeding trade and investment relations for the mutual development of the countries. We equally appeal to the Nigerian government to come to negotiations with an open mind and heart to help resolve all matters as quickly as practicable.
- Finally, we are not oblivious to the fact that Ghana and Nigeria have mutual interests and aspirations for its citizens and can both achieve much of development and progress at a faster pace if they give peace a chance to reign on the sub-continent with mutual respect for respective sovereignties, as well as upholding their international obligations without compromises.
For further information contact:
MR FRANCIS KOFI KORANKYE-SAKYI
(CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER)