Delegations of National Association of Nigerian Traders in Ghana (NANTS) and Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG) on Tuesday stormed Abuja, the nation’s capital to protest against continuous locking of over 400 Nigerian shops in Ghana by the Ghanaian authority.
A protest petition which was addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari was received by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in Abuja.
Presenting the petition, Barrister Ken Ukaoha, NANTS President-General, lamented that the discrimination against Nigerian traders in Ghana dated back to 2007 when they were subjected to paying exorbitant taxes geared towards ruining their businesses.
According to him, the Ghanaian authorities passed a law which compels all foreigners to have a minimum of $300,000 USD in 2007 and later increased it to $1 million USD in 2018 as minimum capital to start a business in Ghana.
He opined that Nigerian traders were specifically targeted as over 400 shops belonging to Nigerians were locked up since July 27, 2018 till date despite their various appeals to the appropriate authorities.
Ukaoha said under ECOWAS protocol which Ghana was a signatory, Nigerians should not be branded as foreigners but a community citizen as long as they are carrying ECOWAS passport.
Regrettably, he said a Nigerian, Mrs Stella Upaleke, had committed suicide, because of the huge bank debts the closure had caused her and still in the mortuary in Ghana.
He said this happens despite the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari who took up the matter with his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Akufo-Addo on the sidelines.
“The diplomatic relations between the two countries is being threatened with this Ghana behaviour. We have over two million Ghanaians in Nigeria and Nigeria has been treating them well.”
Corroborating, Chief Emeka Nnaji, President of NUTAG said that Nigerian goods worth billions of dollars are being locked up with sizeable number of it as perishable.