Trade : NANTS wants Nigerians’ shops in Ghana reopened

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Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey tells Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama that Ghana’s retail law exempts Nigerians
By Franca Ofili
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has  raised alarm over the continued closure of shops belonging to Nigerians in Ghana two weeks after President  Nana Akufo-Addo gave  order to reopen them.
Mr Ken Ukaoha, President of the association  while briefing newsmen in Abuja, on Thursday said that Nigeria might be forced to take a reactive steps.
“ There was an assurance of President of Ghana to Buhari that the
shops will be re-opened, and  despite an instruction to reopen the
shops on Sept 27, the shops still remained closed till date.
“The Ghanaian authority was demanding that traders must have one
million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business
in Ghana as stipulated by its Ministry of Trade and Industry (GIPC) Act,
He said that the Ghana Ministry of Trade and Industry issued a public
notice and gave an ultimatum that all Non-Ghanaians should move out of
markets on  July 27th.
“In August, the Ministry, in a joint operation with Ghana Union
of Traders Association, established a task force with specific mandate
to clamp down on Nigerian traders.
“This eventually resulted in the closure of over 400 Nigerian
traders’ shops and lawfully established businesses in Kumasi, Ashanti
region of Ghana,’’ Ukaoha said.
He said that  in spite the protest by the association in September at
the ECOWAS Secretariat and the promise made to them, the shops  were still not  opened.
He said that association had demanded for immediate reopening of
more than 400 Nigerian owned locked shops in Ghana and safety of Nigerian students in Ghana.
Ukaoha  condemned multiple taxation levied on Nigerian traders  and called for friendly business environment..
Ukaoha said that the development had gone so bad that a law was
recently passed by the Ghanaian Government seeking to make the
business environment hostile to foreign investors.
He noted that since  Ghana was a signatory to the ECOWAS protocol on
free movement of persons, goods and services, there was the need for the
Commission to call  Ghanaian government to order.
He said that the association was deeply worried with the high level of
government complicity and state sponsored incitement and xenophobic
attacks on Nigerians on the street of Ghana.
He urged the Ghanaian government to live up to its promises to President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN General Assembly in New York that Nigerian traders were not being targeted.
Also, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, National President of Nigeria Union of Traders
Association Ghana said that apart from shops, warehouses were also  closed down.
Nnaji said that the association in Ghana had been following-up the
issue but nothing had been done. (NAN)

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