Nigerian traders confirm reopening of shops by Ghanaian authorities

Nov 8 2018 - 6:47pm

President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo (R) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama (2ndLeft) during the visit of President Mohammadu Buhari’s delegation to the Ghanian President over closure of shops of Nigerian traders

Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, the President, Nigeria Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG), has confirmed the reopening of hundreds of Nigerians shops shut in Ghana after three months.

Nnaji told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja through telephone interview from Kumasi that Ghanaian authorities have reopened all the shops as at Nov. 8.

He said that reopening of those locked up shops followed the intervention of the Federal Government.

The Federal Government had on Nov. 2 summoned the Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, Rashid Bawa, to explain how the Government of Ghana was handling the situation.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyema, expressed the government’s displeasure at what he described as unfavourable report emanating from the issue.

Nnaji said, “I can confirm to you that our shops have been reopened by the Ghanaian authorities.”

Hundreds of shops run by Nigerians were reportedly shut following an impasse with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

The closure was in line with the authorities mulling legislation compelling foreigners to have one million dollars (R14.3 million) as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana.

Nnaji said that checks conducted in the affected areas revealed that the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Executives had opened the locked up shops in Suame Magazine Industrial enclave for foreign (Nigerian) traders.

He said that those that had not been opened were locked because owners were not present at their shops and GUTA Executives want to open the shops with the owners present.

Nnaji said that Nigerians traders have started with their businesses peacefully without harassment in Ghana.

Nnaji recalled: “The Ghana Ministry of Trade and Industry issued a public notice and gave an ultimatum that all non-Ghanaians should move out of the markets on July 27.

“In August, 2018, the ministry, in a joint operation with Ghana Union of Traders Association, established a task force with specific mandate to clamp down on Nigerian traders.

“This eventually resulted in the closure of over 400 Nigerian traders’ shops and lawfully established businesses in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana.

“Our members are shut out of their business premises in pursuance of the eviction order dated July 27, 2018, demanding that we must have one million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana.”

The closure of the shops had threatened to spark a diplomatic tiff with the neighbouring countries.

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below