Nigeria worries over Ghana’s closure of shops

0
Nigeria has expressed concern over the continued closure of Nigerians shops in Ghana two weeks after President Koffi Nana-Akudo gave the order to reopen them.
 
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in Abuja when the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) led
by its President, Ken Ukuoha, paid her a visit.
 
Ukuoha had led the Nigerian and Ghanaian
Chapters of the union to present a petition on the continuous closure of
their shops to President Mohammadu Buhari through Dabiri Erewa’s
office.
 
Nigerian traders were shut-out of their business premises in pursuance of the eviction order dated 27th July 2018.
 
The Ghanaian authority was demanding that traders must have
one million dollars  as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated its Ministry of Trade and Industry(GIPC) Act, 2013.
 
She expressed worry that in spite the
assurance of President of Ghana to Buhari that the shops will be
re-opened, and despite an instruction to reopen the shops on Sept 27,
the shops still remain closed.
 
 I am just going to start by appealing to you I know it is painful it is emotional, it is deep but I just urged to remain calm.
 
“I am surprised that after the
announcement of President of Ghana on the reopening of the locked shops,
they still remained under lock up till now.
 
“The president of Ghana paid a courtesy
call on our president during the UN General Assembly in New York and he
assured him that Nigerian traders were not being targeted
 
“When they said foreigners, he assured
that Nigerians were not the target; and since that time which was on
Sept. 27, I am very surprised that as at today over 400 shops were still
under lock in Ghana,” she said.
 
Dabiri-Erewa expressed dismay that Ghanaian president yet to honour
his promise to reopen the closed shops 13 days after.
 
The presidential aide promised to convey
the union’s message to the president who he said was the Chairman of the
ECOWAS about what their petition.
 
She said that President Buhari as the ECOWAS chairman would ensure that the matter is resolved once and for all.
 
She urged the traders not to take laws into their hands no matter how provocative the situation may but to remain calm
 
“I am sure that the matter will be resolved between the two presidents and will be treated as ECOWAS matter.
 
“I know it is not only Nigerians that
are affected but other ECOWAS nationals as well but I know that
Nigerians are the largest.
 
“On behalf of the government I advised
and urge to remain calm because this is an ECOWAS matter and we cannot
be doing this to ourselves,” she said.
 
While noting that millions of Ghanaian traders in Nigeria were treated as
brothers she appealed to the union not to even think about retaliation but rather be calm and obey their laws.
 
“It is only a matter of time when this
would resolved, it is a matter of days these long faces would soon smile
because President Buhari would surely intervene,” she assured them.
 
Ukuoha said that in 2018, the Ministry of
Trade and Industry(GIPC) and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA)
in a joint operation established a taskforce with specific mandate to
clamp down on Nigerian traders.
 
He said that this
had eventually resulted in the ongoing closure of over 400 Nigerian Traders’ shops
in Kumasi and the Ashanti region of Ghana.
 
“We are deeply worried with the high
level of government complicity and state sponsored incitement and
xenophobic attacks on Nigerians on the street of Ghana.
 
“We can provide evidence based on
information in video clips and recorded attacks leaving countless
Nigerian traders at various hospitals.
 
He noted with concern that Ghanaian
security continually expressed helplessness by turning their eyes the
other way, when Ghanaian
hired thugs and criminals  unleash mayhem on Nigerians, molesting and looting
their goods and properties.
 
He said among NANTs demand, is the
immediate reopening of the over 400 Nigerian owned locked shops in
Ghana, as well as the immediate return of all seized goods.
 
He said the government should undertake
to protect and provide security for all Nigerian traders and families
and be held accountable for any ill treatment on Nigerian traders, or
Nigerian citizens residing in Ghana.
 
Nigerians should not be subject to
arbitrary and punitive taxation. GIPC Act should not be applied on
Nigerian traders as we are not foreigners in Ghana but bonafide
community citizens under ECOWAS Law, he stated.