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Gbajabiamila to Ghana: “Revisit $1M Business Law”

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…Seeks bilateral trade law between the two countries
…Advocates application of ECOWAS protocols
…At least for now, let Nigerian traders respect the law —Ghana Trade minister

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has made some far-reaching proposals that would bring an end to the attacks on Nigerian traders doing business in Ghana, asking his host to review the law on $1 million business capital.

Gbajabiamila, who spoke during a ‘Legislative Diplomacy’ bilateral meeting with Ghanaian lawmakers and some top government officials, as part of his on-going visit to Ghana to resolve the crisis, advocated an amicable settlement of trade disputes through arbitration and fair judicial processes.

But Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremateng, said until the law was reviewed, Nigerian traders in his country must obey it as their Ghanaian counterparts.

The speaker called on Ghanaian authorities to revisit the component of the law that required a capital base of $1 million for businesses to start, saying as Africans, Ghana should encourage brotherliness.

He said: “First, amicable settlement of trade disputes through arbitration and fair judicial processes. In this context, we do believe that while it is the sovereign right of the government of Ghana to pass and implement the GIPC Act, we would implore you to explore alternative and less aggressive options of engaging, sanctioning and relating with our traders and business people who operate in your country, pay taxes and contribute to the development of both our nations.

‘Review N1m business capital’

“Second, we would encourage you to revisit the component of the law that requires a capital base of $1 million.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila leading his delegation in a meeting with their Ghanaian counterparts


‘’The prospect of our traders being able to raise a capital base of $1,000,000 before they can trade in goods that may be worth less than $1,000, clearly is a major challenge. Third, one of the things we are all proud about and the common surname that we all bear is ‘ECOWAS’.

‘’As you know, by virtue of being ECOWAS countries, our nations and our citizens should be able to live, work and thrive in any of our nations without any form of hindrance or discrimination. It is in this light we would encourage that we explore how the principles and the application of ECOWAS protocols – which we are both signatories to – may perhaps conflict with the application of the GIPC Act, especially vis-à-vis the recent adoption of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, by African nations; and also the movement towards a single currency in the West African sub-region.

“Fourth, is the importance of strengthening legislative diplomacy and collaboration. Legislative diplomacy is a tool that has been used across the world – both in developing and developed nations – to negotiate, to arbitrate and to find peaceful resolution to disputes between nations.

‘Nigeria, Ghana are siblings’

“Fifth, like I said right from the beginning, Nigeria and Ghana are siblings from the same family. I, for one, would be willing to champion a law that helps to improve the bilateral trade relations and reciprocal legislation between our two countries and in this regard, we would like to explore the possibility of jointly passing what we could potentially call a Nigeria-Ghana Friendship Act – or something in that line, which will help to cement into law the good relations between our countries and also create a legal framework for further camaraderie that will enable us to ensure that, when it comes to Nigeria and Ghana, our laws will support efforts to improve relations, trade and positive and friendly interactions between our citizens, institutions and our governments.

Strengthening relations

“We do not have an exact title for such a law as at now, but agreeing on reciprocal legislation that cements the friendship between our nations; and ensures that it continues to thrive and benefit all our citizens – no matter where they live – would go a long way in strengthening our relations on all levels.’’

He said it was in a bid to improve the bilateral relationships among African countries that he had been championing the creation of the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments, CoSAP, aimed at identifying, discussing and resolving issues and challenges that affect growth, stability and development within different regions and across the continent.

Breach of law

In his remarks, the Ghanaian Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremateng, said there were many Ghanaians and Nigerians going about their lawful duties without difficulties.

“The incidence that has occurred where some shops were locked up must have risen out of situations where there were clear abuses of the application of the laws.

“I was happy that the Nigerian Speaker of the House of Representatives mentioned that if they are doing legitimate business, please allow them as brothers and sisters to continue to do so. I want to give you that assurance that that will be the case. Anybody engaged in business, trading, doing the rightful things, they must have no difficulties.

“Even in cases where we found that in some instances the laws were not being followed, I, in my capacity as the Minister of Trade, had ordered that they shut the office and those who are being seen as offending the law be given an opportunity to regularize their documentation.

“I say this, being the Minister of Trade and Industry, this is not something that is new, I have always, since the time I’ve been a minister, found a way of going along, so that those who needed to regularize their businesses would do so.

“As long as the laws remain on our statute books, I will like to request that you send a strong signal to our brothers and sisters, who are engaged in retail trading, that, at least for now, until further considerations are made on our statute books, they should just respect the law, because Ghanaian traders themselves are required to respect the laws of our country. ”

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Aviation

FG TO PARTNER WITH HUNGARIAN COMPANY TO PRODUCE AIRPLANES IN NIGERIA

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In line with its desire to bequeath sustainable growth and development in the aviation sector, the Federal Government has expressed its readiness to partner with the Magnus aircraft Manufacturing industry in Hungary to establish an assembling plant and begin to manufacture in Nigeria from start to finish before the end of the Buhari administration.

The Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika expressed the interest when he paid an inspection visit to the Magnus Aircraft Industry in Pogany, Hungary.

He explained that “if we venture we them, we may start with assembling plant and later manufacturing”, adding that the Magnus aircraft is an aeroplane that is good for Military training, has an aerobatic manoeuvre and is made of fully composite materials high strength and very lightweight.

Sirika being briefed by officials of Magnus

A statement by the Director of Public Affairs Ministry of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu described Aerobatics as the practice of flying manoeuvres involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. Aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment, and sport.

The statement further quoted Sirika as saying he was very satisfied with the features and more than willing to facilitate the production of the aeroplanes in Nigeria, saying one of the significant features of the Magnus aircraft is that it uses normal car petrol and outperforms any training aircraft of its kind”

The Minister who was at the facility on the invitation of the Company, said the proposed partnership with the aircraft manufacturer will be subjected to further analysis to verify the market and government willingness to partner with a significant amount of money and logistics.

He emphasized that the local production of aircrafts in the country will facilitate the growth of Nigeria as a regional aviation super power as it will also come with maintenance and repair facilities that will attract patronage from neighbouring countries.

Sirika trying his hands on the Magnus aircraft

According to him, the present administration has created an attractive environment for international investors in Nigeria, especially in the aviation sector, with the ongoing implementation of the development roadmap which places emphasis on public private partnerships.

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Business

Request For Qualification for the Concession of Airport Terminals

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Aviation

AIRPORTS CONCESSION GATHERS MOMENTUM, AS FG RELEASES REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATION

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The Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation in compliance with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (N4P) has released a request for qualification for the concession of four International Airport terminals and related services.

In the document signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Engr. Hassan Musa, the four major commercial airports; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja; Murtala Muhammed Internatıonal Aırport Lagos; Malam Amınu Kano Internatıonal Aırport and Portharcourt Internatıonal Aırport and surrounding communities are intended to develop into efficient, profitable, self-sustaining, commercial hubs which will create more jobs and develop local industries through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

A statement by the Director of Media and Public Affairs Ministry of Aviation,  Dr James Odaudu quotes the document saying “The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) through the Ministry of Aviation is inviting bids from reputable Airport Developers/Operators/Financiers/Consortia for prequalification for the Concession of selected Airports Terminals under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement”.
It further stated that “The airport’s terminal concession is one of the critical projects under the Aviation Sector Roadmap of the FGN and fits well within the scope of the Ministry’s strategic plan for the sector. The execution of this project is meant to achieve the Federal Government’s objective in terms of air transport value chain growth by developing and profitably managing customer-centric airport facilities for safe, secure and efficient carriage of passengers and goods at world-class standards of quality”.

Hadi Sirika
Minister of Aviation

According to the document the eligibility requirements are; “Full names of firm/consortia; Evidence of Company Registration; Ownership structure of bidding entity; Audited Financial Statements; Sworn affidavit; Power of Attorney/Board Resolution and in the case of a consortium, evidence in the form of a letter of association agreement”.

It explained that to be prequalified for consideration as a prospective PPP partner for the project, the prospective firms/consortia must have technical, operational and financial capability including; Experience in the Development and Operation of an International Airport and Cargo Terminals; Evidence of Financial Capacity in support of the company or consortium’s ability to undertake the airport concession illustrated by a minimum net worth of NGN 30 billion and Letters of Support from credible financial institutions in support of the consortium’s ability to manage and operate the Airports terminals.

“The modalities for application submission shall be in a sealed envelope containing 7 copies neatly bound (1 original and 6 copies clearly marked) of the completed RFQ and the required supporting documents, which shall be clearly marked “RFQ for the Concession of Airport Terminals’ and address to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Federal Secretariat Complex Abuja.

The Application shall be submitted either physically or by pre-paid, registered/certified mail or courier to the address provided. The submission shall be on or before 15:00 hours Nigerian Time (14.00hrs GMT) on 27th September 2021”. It explained.
The request emphasis that the RFQ is the pre-qualification stage of the procurement process for the Project in which interested parties are required to meet the pre-qualification requirements specified in the RFQ package. Only pre-qualified parties will proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage and shall execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement prior to issuance of the RFP documents.

The document urged the interested international parties to partner with local firms in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Government of Nigeria local content development policy while submission of RFQs through electronic media will not be considered.

The document also states that additional information, can be found on the website: https://nacp.aviation.gov.ng

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