Nigeria laments Ghana business standoff

Thursday October 11 2018

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Nigeria has expressed concern over the continued closure of businesses belonging to its nationals in Ghana, two weeks after President Nana Akufo-Addo ordered them reopened.

A senior Foreign ministry official, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed worry that in spite of the assurance of Ghanaian president to his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari, the businesses remained closed

"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, on September 27, I am very surprised that over 400 shops were still under lock in Ghana,” she said.

Foreign investment

Nigerian traders were shut out of their business premises in pursuance of the eviction order dated July 27, 2018.

The Accra authorities were demanding that traders must have $1 million as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana, as stipulated in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (GIPC) Act, 2013.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said that President Buhari, as the Ecowas chairman, wished to ensure that the matter was resolved once and for all.

She urged the traders not to take the laws into their hands, no matter how provocative the situation may be.

Treated well

"I am sure that the matter will be resolved between the two presidents and will be treated as an Ecowas issue.

"I know it is not only Nigerians that are affected but other Ecowas nationals as well, but I know that Nigerians are the largest,” she said.

While noting that Ghanaian traders in Nigeria were treated well, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa appealed to her compatriots not to even think about retaliation.

"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.