Chris Steven, Abuja
Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki has appealed to the Ghanaian Parliament to review the $120 Residency Fee imposed on Nigerians living in Ghana.
The Senate President made the appeal when he granted audience to the visiting Ghanaian parliamentarians that paid a courtesy visit to him at the National Assembly, Abuja.
The Senate President while responding to comments by the leader of the Ghanaian Parliamentary delegation, Hon. Alfred Agbesi, said: “I am appealing to you my colleagues in the parliament in Ghana on the recent laws passed on Nigerians to pay a residency fee of $120. I am appealing that you review this law and take a second look at it again as things are hard. This recession is biting hard”.
Ghana early this year imposed a fee of $120 on Nigerians and other immigrants that stayed in the country for a total of 90 days or more in a given year and are required by law to register for the Non-citizen Ghana card at the cost of $120 (N19,000).
The Act, which is enshrined under the Foreigners Identification Management System (FIMS), in pursuance of Authority’s mandate under the NIA Act, 2006 (Act 707), the National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) and the National Identity Regulations, 2012, made it compulsory that the non-citizen Ghana card is the mandatory form of identification to be used in all transactions which includes applying for or renewing residence permits, opening or running a bank account etc.
Senator Saraki also commended the Ghanaian Parliament for supporting Nigeria to emerge as the Vice President for the West African Region in the just concluded Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) conference in Geneva.
Also responding to the request of the visiting Ghanaian Parliamentarians that the National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS) should help the Ghanaian law makers in legislative drafting, Dr. Saraki assured that NILS would assist their law makers where necessary, explaining that it was for such purpose that the institute was established.
According to the Senate President, “NILS has been very instrumental in propagating the ideals of legislative enhancement. It is because of the activities of NILS that people who ask what does the legislature do that our works are being appreciated.”
He further stated that NILS has been resolute in propagating the work of the National Assembly especially in enhancing the economic agenda of the National Assembly to bring Nigeria out of the current economic recession.
Earlier, leader of the delegation, Alfred Agbesi who is the Deputy Leader of the Ghanaian Parliament said that they were in Nigeria to seek the help of NILS in legislative drafting for in-coming law makers and how it would help in the performance of their duties.
Agbesi described NILS as one of the main pillars to advance democracy in Ghana, while pledging to enhance and improve bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Ghana.