Ghana defies Nigeria over crackdown on businesses



President Koffi Nana-Akudo of Ghana

Despite assurances that businesses belonging to Nigerians in Ghana that were closed by Ghanaian authorities last month would be reopened by September 27, National Daily gathered that the businesses still remained closed.

More than 400 businesses owned by Nigerians were reportedly closed by authorities in Ghana in September, sparking a protest by owners who subsequently issued a week ultimatum within which to resolve the surrounding the maltreatment of Nigerian business community in Ghana.

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.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed dismay that President Koffi Nana-Akudo of Ghana is yet to honour his promise to reopen the closed shops when the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) led by its President, Ken Ukuoha, paid her a visit.

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 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.

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.

Ken 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.

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.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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