Government moves to resolve traders' impasse in Kumasi

BY: Mabel Faith Tannor
The Minister of Information, Kojo  Oppong Nkrumah
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo  Oppong Nkrumah has assured that government has taken steps to ensure the safety of all inhabitants, including Nigerians.

The assurance comes in the wake of a series of attacks in Kumasi targeted at retail shops owned by some Nigerians.

According to the Minister, government  is unhappy about the situation.

Scores of Ghanaian retail traders in Kumasi have for a couple of days been baying for the closure of retail outlets owned by foreigners, particularly Nigerians, accusing them of invading their markets which Ghanaian laws prohibit them from engaging in.

The minister noted that the government has in a meeting with the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana assured that the law enforcement agencies will protect all persons living in the country from lawless individuals. 

Speaking on Accra based City FM, Mr Oppong Nkrumah advised Ghanaians to avoid all forms of stereotyping, be it in conversation or in journalistic reportage.

“One of the first things we have to do is to avoid stereotype and xenophobia whether in our reportage or in our public conversation about some of these matters,” he said.

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He added that citizens must allow the law to deal with anyone that puts up unlawful behaviour, be the culprit a Ghanaian or a Nigerian and encouraged that wrong doers in the society be reported to the security agencies for the laws to deal with them.

“Yesterday we had the opportunity to meet with the Nigerian High Commissioner and subsequently members of his team. They are also helping Ghana’s authorities to ensure that if there are any specific persons who are involved in untoward conduct, they will be supportive in our exercise to let such persons face the law.”

Meanwhile, Ranking Member of Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, James Agalga wants Ghana's laws that prohibit Nigerians from engaging in petty trading in markets changed and aligned with Ecowas protocols on free trade.

He explained that local traders should be given incentives rather than reserving the markets for them.

“We just finished having a meeting with the CEO of the GIPC and officers of the Immigration Service…. we have to realign the GIPC Act so that it is in tandem with our international obligation and commitment at the Ecowas protocols,“ he said.