By Jennifer Y Omiloli
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the Ghanaian envoy was invited to explain the treatment of Nigerian traders in his country.
Federal Government has summoned the High Commissioner of Ghana to Nigeria, Ambassador Rashid Bawa, over the closure of over 400 Nigerian shops in Ghana.
The closure of over 400 Nigerian businesses had sparked protest by the National Association of Nigerian Traders, NANTS, and Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana, NUTAG.
According to Onyema, “there had been some horror stories and a case of a Nigerian lady’s suicide. When this broke, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana came here.
“We were assured that Nigerians were not the targets and that efforts were on to calm the situation.
“Again, in New York, assurances were made by President Nana Akufo-Addo and we were shown the text that the shops that have been closed that belong to Nigerians would be reopened.”
Onyeama said a committee was being set up at the highest level in Nigeria to look into the matter and to look at how government can respond to the situation.
“The Ghanaian envoy was invited to give him the opportunity to brief us on current situation on the closure of Nigerian businesses in that country,’’ he said.
“I was in Accra at the invitation of the President to go have a look at what was happening on the ground. I spent two days on the ground, meeting with all stakeholders.
“Some of the shops at the time I visited 10 days ago have been re-opened and re-opening of shops is still ongoing as we speak.
“Those that have not been opened are locked because owners were not present at their shops. Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), wants to open the shops with owners present.”
Former Secretary General of Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana, NUTAG, Mr. Jasper Emenike, confirmed that some shops had actually been re-opened.
He, however, noted that some Nigerian traders refused to show up because of harassment by GUTA.
“we want to appeal that in furtherance to the efforts being made, there is need to put a permanent end to this issue.” he said.
“There is also the need to stop charging Nigerian citizens I.D. card fees, which cost 120 dollars for registration and 60 dollars for renewal every year.” he added.