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HE served Ghana in various professional capacities. He was a member of the Ghana Stock Exchange Council; member, Board of Trustees, Mines Trust; member, Management Committee of the Commonwealth Administration of Tax Experts; and member, United Nations Ad Hoc Group of Experts in International Cooperation in Tax Matters, and United Nations Law and Population Project. He was a visiting scholar at the Liu Centre for the Study of Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, Canada in 2002.
IN1988, Mills became the acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service of Ghana and was named Commissioner in September 1996. In December 2002, he was elected by his party to be its flag bearer and led them into the 2004 elections. He was re-elected in December 2006 by an overwhelming 81.4%, beating three other contestants, to once again have the mandate to lead his party into the 2008 general elections.
BORN on July 21, 1944, at Tarkwa in the Western Region of Ghana, he hails from Ekumfi Otuam in the Mfantsiman East Constituency of the Central Region. He attended Achimota Secondary School, where he obtained his General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level in 1963, and the University of Ghana, Legon, where he received a bachelor’s degree and professional certificate in Law in 1967. He then proceeded to the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London where he earned a Ph.D in Law at the youthful age of 27. He began an academic career at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Legon where he spent close to 25 years imparting knowledge, rising from a Lecturer position to being Professor. During this period, he served as a visiting lecturer and professor at a number of educational institutions worldwide.
AS a Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2008 General Elections, he was known in Ghana as Asomdweehene which literally means the “King of Peace”. He was also an advocate for recreation and sports, hockey. He once played for the national team. He was married to Ernestina Naadu Mills, an educationist, and had a son, Sam Kofi Atta Mills.
MILLS was expected to visit Nigeria in order to discuss the on-going trade dispute with Nigeria before he died on July 24, 2012. The trade dispute that has created tensions between Ghana and Nigeria and threatened the ECOWAS treaty on trade liberalisation, free movement of goods and services arose from his effort to implement the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, GIPC, Law, Act 478 of 1994, which reserves small-scale retail businesses for Ghanaians.
THE effort to implement the law by his administration had witnessed the harassments of Nigerian traders in Ghana, including indiscriminate closing down of their businesses by Ghanaian authorities, physical molestation and detentions over non-payment of the US$300,000 required of foreign Investors by the GIPC Act. According to the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), about 75 per cent of the Nigerian businesses in Ghana are small and medium scale enterprises that clearly lack the capacity to muster US$300, 000 as investment capital as demanded by the law.
IN the past few months, Ghana has harassed Nigerians seeking entry into Accra over alleged fake yellow fever cards. Some Nigerian travellers have been subjected to inhuman treatment at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra where the yellow fever cards from Nigeria were presumed fake and international passports of such Nigerians seized. The Ghanaian immigration officials got Ghana’s yellow fever cards for N2,000 each for these unfortunate Nigerians before allowing them entry into the country.
IT will be recalled that the NANTS had petitioned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2010 over the on-going feud between Nigeria and Ghana, arguing that the inclusion of Nigerian nationals or any other West African national in the law’s definition of “foreigners or foreign investors” runs contrary to the spirit and intent of regional integration as enshrined in the Treaty of ECOWAS, the Protocols on Free Movement, ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, among others. The disposition of the Ghanaian authorities effectively undermines and makes nonsense of the bold gainsthe ECOWAS Commission, West African governments and civil society have achieved in regional integration.
WHILE we condole with Ghanaians on the death of their beloved president, we call on his successor, John DramaniMahama, to leave no stone unturned to ensure that the trade dispute with Nigeria is resolved as soon as possible in the interest of the integration of the sub-region and the mutual ties that bind the two brother countries.Share