Nigerians in Ghana: Fed Govt accuses Ghana of double standard

Our Reporter

The Federal Government has said the ill-treatment meted out to Nigerian traders in Ghana did not emanate from Nigeria’s border closure.

It said the forceful locking of shops belonging to Nigerians doing business in Ghana was a sign of double standard.

The Nigerian government said the action was carried out by authorities who demanded evidence of their Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) registration.

The government spoke through the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

The GIPC states that a minimum foreign equity investment of $1,000,000 must be made for general trading, besides a 31,500 Cedis registration fee.

In August, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, had questioned the existence of an economic community if Nigeria could shut its borders without notice.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said: “They are not the same thing, actually. There’s a reason the borders were closed. You can’t be bringing in small arms and ammunition and all that and Nigeria will not take action.

“We are talking of people that have been living in your country, working very well for years. Now, I’ll ask you something: if it has to do with the borders, why didn’t they send away the big industries in Ghana? We have six banks in Ghana. Why didn’t they tell them to leave, if they are afraid of border closure? There is the gas pipeline going to Ghana. Why don’t you cut it off?

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“And I think it boils down to this lack of trust and some kind of complex. This is because these Nigerian traders sell their goods at cheaper prices. You know, Nigerians are very industrious.

“So, the reality is that the Ghanaian traders say it is really difficult to compete with Nigerian traders. And they’ve put it in $1 million to almost impossible for traders… So, let’s leave the issue of the border closure.

“This thing has been on for years. In New York, three years ago, Mr. President took it up with the Ghanaian President and he (Ghanaian leader) gave us an assurance that they were sorry about it and would open the shops. Then, they opened and closed again, to their whims and caprices. I’m sure you will agree with me that we can’t continue like this.”

Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Nana Akufo-Addo of Nigeria and Ghana have held deliberations on the matter but the situation has not been resolved.