Ghana envoy summoned over Nigerian-Ghanaian traders crisis

Following the closure of over 400 Nigerian businesses in Ghana, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has summoned Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Rashid Bawa.

The crisis had resulted to protest by the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG).

Confirming the development, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said the High Commissioner of Ghana was invited to brief the government on the current situation regarding the closure of the businesses, adding that there were conflicting reports concerning the reopening of the shops.

Responding to the questioning, Bawa said he was in Ghana and visited the areas where the crisis took place.

Bawa added that almost 80 to 85 percent of the shops that were locked have been reopened, even as he said the process of reopening the shops is ongoing.

Ghanaian authorities, Bawa added, were also making moves to ensure that Nigerian traders in Ghana were registered and granted a residence permit.

“I was in Accra at the invitation of the president to go and have a look at what was happening on the ground.  I spent two days on the ground, meeting with all stakeholders.

“Some of the shops at the time I visited ten days ago have been opened. Some have not yet been opened. Opening of shops are still ongoing as we speak.

“Those that have not been opened are locked because owners were not present at their shops. GUTA wants to open the shops with owners present. I can say that about 80 to 85 percent of shops that were locked have been opened. We insisted that before shops are open, the owners should be there.” Bawa was quoted.

NANTS had stormed the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS)secretariat located in Abuja to protest the alleged closure of shops belonging to Nigerians in Ghana.

The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘We need ECOWAS intervention’, ‘Ghana, re-open Nigeria’s shops now’, ‘ECOWAS, the situation in Ghana is totally unacceptable’, and ‘Ghana wants AFCTA secretariat but clamps down on African traders’, among others.

Speaking during the protest, the President, NANT, Ken Ukaoha, said that the association was protesting the alleged victimisation of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana.

Ukaoha stated that the development had got so bad that a law was recently passed by the Ghanaian parliament seeking to make the business environment hostile to foreign investors.

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