The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday summoned Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Rashid Bawa, to give a definitive explanation on the treatment of Nigerian traders in that country.
The closure of over 400 Nigerian businesses in Ghana had sparked protests by the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) which condemned the eviction order by the government, asking foreign investors to have $1 million as minimum investment capital to do business in Ghana.
However, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo had assured his Nigerian counterpart, President MuhammaduBuhari, that those shops would be re-opened.
But Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday, said there were conflicting reports regarding the re-opening of the shops.
In his response, Ambassador Bawa said he visited the areas that experienced distress by Nigerian traders and confirmed that about 80-85% of shops that were locked had been re-opened and that the exercise was still on going.
He said the Ghanaian authorities were also making efforts to ensure that Nigerian traders who are doing businesses in Ghana are registered and have resident permits.
The envoy also dismissed reports that a Nigerian in Ghana, Mrs. Stella Upaleke, committed suicide because of the closure of her shop.
“I was with the regional police commander where the issue happened. The police statement written by the daughter of the woman indicated that the suicide was not as a result of the lock up of her shop,” he said.
Onyeama thanked the government of Ghana and the envoy for doing everything possible to ensure that the directives from the country’s trade ministry would in no way compromise the status of Nigerians and other ECOWAS citizens in Ghana.