The Federal Government has succeeded in ending reported hostilities against Nigerian traders in Ghana by securing a reversal of the Ghanaian government’s closure of over 40 shops belonging to Nigerian traders. The shops were closed on February 6, 2013 for alleged violation of Ghana’s laws on trading by foreigners.
The agreement to re-open the shops was reached at a meeting between the Ghanaian Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Idrissu, and the Nigerian delegation to Ghana, led by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
The decision of the Federal Government to send a delegation to Ghana to tackle the difficulties being faced by the Nigerian traders was to further reaffirm its commitment to the welfare of Nigerians at home and abroad. The Ghanaian trade minister pointed out some issues of violation of mutual agreement, which the Nigerian government promised to look into, stating however that he was happy with Nigeria’s way of handling the issue.
According to reports by the traders, the shops, belonging to Nigerian traders in the Okaishie Market area in the Central Business District, Accra, were closed in February by Ghanaian authorities and traders ordered to vacate the place without any alternative.
A notice signed by the Ghanaian authorities and pasted on the shops, titled, ‘Non Ghanaians Engaged in Trading in Market Places’ read, “It has come to the notice of the taskforce that you are engaged in trading activities in the market place. Your activities contravene section 18 of GPIC Law 1194 (Act 478).
”Please take notice that your continuous operations from the market will no more be countenanced and that your shops have been permanently closed from today. In case you have any difficulties related to the actions of the task force, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.”
The decision of the Ghanaian authorities was, however, reversed following the intervention of the Nigerian Government, led by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Ortom had assured that his ministry would work with its foreign affairs counterpart towards ending the harassment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
while speaking during the inauguration of the National Organising Committee for the 7th ECOWAS Trade Fair holding in Accra from October 24 to November 4. Ortom said, “We are working with our foreign affairs counterpart to ensure that we interface with Ghanaian officials to stop the harassment of our traders in Ghana.