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Ghanaian govt defends $1million trader’s levy, faults Nigerian borders’ closure

This comes as both countries have traded words over the closure of Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana.

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Africa: Ghanaian inflation rate drops for the 3rd straight month to 10.1%, Ghana’s cedi becomes investors’ best choice ahead Nigeria’s naira, Ghana restricts flights into country after detecting Coronavirus but Nigeria ignores measure

The Ghanaian government may have imposed the $1million levy on traders in the country, including Nigeria, due to certain steps taken by Nigerian government to protect the former’s interest.

This was revealed in a statement issued by the Ghana’s Ministry of Information on Sunday. The statement was in reaction to claims by Lai Mohammed of closing of Nigerian-owned shops by Ghanaian authorities and seizure of properties owned by the Nigerian High Commission.

This comes as both countries have traded words over the closure of Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana, with the Ghanaian Foreign Minister citing the border closure policy by President Buhari as affecting the revenues of Ghanaian exporters.

READ: Ghana blows hot over Nigeria’s $2 billion rail project that involves Amaechi

Back story: Nairametrics earlier reported that the Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila stated that the closure of Nigerian shops contravenes ECOWAS trade protocols and called for a decisive solution between both countries.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyeama took matters on by summoning Ghana’s Chargé d’Affaires to Nigeria, Ms. Iva Denoo, to discuss the closure of Nigerian-owned shops in Accra.

Onyeama also met with a  delegation from the Nigerian Traders in Ghana to propose steps towards ensuring that the traders get their shops reopened. The delegation of Nigerian traders was led by Mr. Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN) and the organisation’s National Director, Hon. Ruth Ango.

READ: FG to engage Ghanaian government over attacks on Nigeria diplomatic residence

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Reacting to the crisis, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey stated that Nigeria’s border closure in 2019 has hurt Ghanaians and nearly bankrupted many Ghanaian businesses after their goods were stuck in the Seme Border for months.

“August 2019 saw Nigeria close its land borders without notice to community trade. Explanation- ‘To stop smuggling and to protect local industries from imported/smuggled rice, etc.’

“Of course, this decision ended up hurting Ghanaian exporters and brought many of them to their knees financially as trucks were stuck at the Seme Krake border for months,” she said.

READ: Guinness Nigeria finding it hard to refinance its loans due to dollar scarcity

Ghanaian’s defence

Citing the accusation that 300, 600 and 250 Nigerian owned shops were closed in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively, it said, “Upon evidence that some individuals, including Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians had been involved in various forms of trade, without complying with the laws and regulations of Ghana, several engagements and prior advice had been given to encourage compliance.

“Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry personally intervened to ensure reopening of the closed shops, pending compliance with Ghana’s laws.”

READ ALSO: World Bank predicts Nigeria’s impending recession will be worst in 40 years

Jaiz bank

On seizure of the High Commission building located at No. 10 Barnes road, Accra, the former Gold Coast minister said terms of the lease between Nigeria and a private citizen named Thomas. D. hardy expired 46 years ago without any evidence of renewal by the Nigerian government. The government said it was not involved in the transaction that occurred on 23rd October 1959 and has not seized the property in question.

On the demolition of a building located at No 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, Accra, the government argued that Nigeria failed to complete the proper documentation after acquiring the property in the year 2000. It stated that Nigeria’s High Commission failed to purchase the Land and Lease Title Certificates.

It added, “The demolition was not carried out by the Ghanaian government but by agents of the Osu Stool. Ghana has decided to return the property to the Nigerian government to preserve relationships between both nations.”

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: WHO approves China’s Sinopharm vaccine

WHO has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.

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Covid-19: First world nations oppose waiving intellectual rights for vaccine development

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.  The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.

This was disclosed today in a report by Reuters. The vaccine would also be the second Chinese-made vaccine after Sinovac vaccine and would be the first developed outside Europe and North America to receive WHO accreditation.

“This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO added that the easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.

“Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings,” a WHO statement said while also disclosing that the vaccine has been approved for people above the age of 18 to receive two shots.

“On the basis of all available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks,” the statement added.

The vaccine was created by Beijing Biological Products Institute, a subsidiary of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group, with an efficacy of 79% for all age groups.

The WHO however, admitted that few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.

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The quest for vaccine efficiency got a major boost earlier this week as Nairametrics reported that the United States government announced that it supports the waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and says it will participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.

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Obituaries

“Mama Taraba”, Former minister and senator, Aisha Al-Hassan is dead

Ex-Women Affairs minister, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead

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A former Minister for Women Affairs and ex-Governorship Candidate in Taraba State, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.

According to media reports she died in a hospital on Friday in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 61.

Al-Hassan, who was a former senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Taraba North Senatorial District, was the All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate for Taraba in the 2015 general elections.

READ: Abba Kyari’s last letter to President Buhari

She later contested for the same seat on the platform of the United Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections after resigning from APC and as a minister in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on July 27, 2018.

The former senator was born on the 16th of September, 1959 in Jalingo, Taraba State, to Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim, Sarkin Ayukan Muri.

READ: Chad’s President Deby dies of injuries suffered on the frontlines, as son takes over

Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan attended Muhammed Nya Primary School, Jalingo and LEA Primary School, Tudun Wada, Kaduna before proceeding to Saint Faith College (now GGSS) Kawo Kaduna where she studied between January 1973 and June 1977.

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