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Traders protest closure of Nigerians’ businesses in Ghana

Credit: BBC

The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) Monday
petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) over the alleged closure of over 400 businesses owned
by Nigerians in Ghana.

It further gave a one-week ultimatum to the commission to
intervene in the matter, warning that the association would occupy the ECOWAS
premises if the situation in Ghana was not addressed.
In a protest march to the ECOWAS secretariat, the
placard-wielding traders urged the commission to intervene to stop the alleged
victimisation of Nigerian businessmen and women in Ghana.
With inscriptions including, “Ghana re-open Nigeria’s shops
now”, “The situation in Ghana is totally unacceptable”, “ECOWAS, Ghana wants
AFCTA secretariat but clamps on African traders”, the group also urged
President Buhari to wade into the controversy to save Nigerians.
President of NANT, Mr. Ken Ukaoha, said the development had
reached a point where the Ghanaian parliament had passed a legislation to make
the business environment hostile to foreign investors.
He argued that Ghana is currently a signatory to the ECOWAS
protocol on free movement of goods and services, and needed to be called to
He said ECOWAS President Jean-Claude Brou had also been
petitioned over the development.
He said: “This is a save-our-soul call and urgency of this
protest is to inform you of the state of fear, uncertainty and insecurity that
Nigerian traders are currently subjected to in the hands of the government and
people of Ghana in different cities under the coordination of Ghana Investment
Promotion Centre and Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“You are very much aware that we wrote you, raised alarm and
reported to the commission severally of the discriminatory and unfair treatment
meted to Nigerian traders and Nigerian-owned small businesses in Ghana when the
Ghana Ministry of Trade and Industry issued a public notice and gave an ultimatum
that all non-Ghanaians should move out of markets on the 27th July, 2018.”
According to him, “In August 2018, the Ministry of Trade and
Industry, GIPC and Ghana Union of Traders Association in a joint operation
established a task force with specific mandate to clamp down on Nigerian
traders and which had eventually resulted in the ongoing closure of over 400
Nigerian traders’ shops and lawfully established businesses in Kumasi, Ashanti
region of Ghana.
“Our members are shut out of their business premises in
pursuance of the eviction order dated July 27, 2018 demanding that we must have
$1 million as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana.”

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