Nigerian traders in Ghana have appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria to come to their aid as the government of Ghana started another round of closure of shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana
National President of National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Dr. Ken Ukaoha, who made the call in an interview in Abuja on Monday, condemned the maltreatment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
Ukaoha said that the entire process showed Ghana’s decision to undermine trade and economic integration process in ECOWAS.
“The notice placed above the padlocks on each of the locked shops informs owners to come to their Ministry of Trade and Industry with evidence of payment of one million dollars.
He recalled that few weeks back, Nigerian traders in Ghana had appealed to the Federal Government to start the process of evacuating them back to Nigeria, expressing their displeasure and insecurity of their wares and livelihoods in Ghana.
“An Inter-Ministerial Committee was said to have been set up by the Nigerian President, but it appears before the sitting of the Committee, the Ghanaian Authorities have started pushing towards readiness for a trade war.
“It is indeed senseless that you asked a community to leave your space and while they are preparing with their government on how to act on your demand, another round of closure is being affected,” he said.
According to him, why would Ghana start a fresh closure of Nigerian shops even when they had ordered Nigerians to leave and the government of Nigeria is preparing to take her citizens?
“Ghana would definitely regret this war song, knowing clearly that the rebound would hit strongly on her people and her economy, especially when Nigerians move out of the country with their business investments.
He, however, notified the Federal Government that Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire had been secretly negotiating bilateral Trade Agreements with the United Kingdom arising from Brexit.
He added that it was a suggestive signal and reminder of the actions taken by the same Ghana when the country surreptitiously negotiated Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union behind Nigeria.
“We wish to place on notice that this action equally undermines, constitutes sabotage and contradicts the letter and spirit of ECOWAS trade and economic integration process, and particularly the Common External Tariff (CET) and other related Protocols.
“Nigeria should therefore take immediate actions and urgently present this and the maltreatment of Nigerians in Ghana to the Council of Ministers and the Authority of Heads of State.
“Nigerian government must now be prepared for the deployment of reciprocity as a part of diplomacy,” the expert said.