Nigeria: Traders protest "hostile treatment" of counterparts in Ghana

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The National Association of Nigerian Traders on Monday staged a demonstration in front of the ECOWAS office Abuja to protest what they consider as the victimisation of their counterparts by Ghanaian authorities.

According to them, the development has so far led to the closure of about 400 shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Non-Ghanaians in retail trade were ordered to leave the Ghanaian markets by July 27, 2018, or face the wrath of the government.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry which gave the order in a statement threatened to take legal action against recalcitrant non-Ghanaians who fail to adhere to the directive.

According to the Ministry, non-Ghanaians in retail infringe the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) law.


Protest

The protesters, led by the President of the Association, Barrister Ken Ukaoha presented a petition to the ECOWAS and cautioned that if they failed to intervene in the matter within a week, they would occupy the Commission’s premises.

Barrister Ukaoha is reported by the Punch Newspaper in Nigeria as saying that the development has gotten so bad that Ghana’s Parliament has recently passed a law to make the business environment hostile to foreign investors.

He noted that since Ghana is a signatory to the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of goods and services, there is a need for the Commission to caution the Ghanaian government.

“This is a save our soul call and the urgency of this protest is to inform you of the state of fear, uncertainty and insecurity that Nigerian traders are currently subjected to in the hands of the government and people of Ghana in different cities under the coordination of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” the petition read in part.