Some Nigerian shops shut in Ghana last year

By Abankula

Nigerian traders are back in the public court again, to report the ill-treatment being meted out to them in Ghana.

A video making the rounds showed a Nigerian trader complaining about the closure of his shop in Accra despite fulfilling all conditions.

Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, President of Nigerian Traders Union in Ghana, decried Ghanaian authorities’ closure of shops owned by Nigerians doing business in the country.

Nnaji, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), urged the Federal Government to intervene in the matter.

He said that shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Accra were locked up by Ghanaian authorities who demanded cash payment of one million dollars from them before the shops would be opened.

According to him, an inter-ministerial Task force went round on Aug. 10 to identify shops owned by Nigerian traders and request for registration of business taxes, residence permit, standard control and Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) registration.

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“Most of our members do not have the GIPC registration, because it requires one million dollars cash or equity and they gave us 14 days within which to regularise.

“As of Thursday, they had moved to another area and started locking up shops of Nigerian traders.

“Nigerian life in Ghana matters. This is livelihood of Nigerians being destroyed by Ghanaian Authorities. This is not being perpetrated by a trade union, but Ghanaian authorities.

“They demanded that we must employ a minimum of 25 skilled Ghanaian workers and must not trade in commodities that Ghanaian traders have applied to trade in,” Nnaji said.

“The humiliation of Nigerians is getting out of hand. We are calling on the Nigerian government to come to our aid.

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”We have legally registered our businesses and we pay taxes,” Nnaji said.

However, spokesman of Ghana’s trade ministry Boakye Boateng told a Star FM that the Nigerian traders, have not fully complied with conditions to operate in the country.

“If you recall as far back as December last year, these shops were locked, the president intervened and we asked that the shops be re-opened because the very law that gives GUTA the right to be the sole traders in our market, that same law requires that a certain group of people are those who can go and do law enforcement and not you, so allow us to do our work.

“They complied, the shops were opened. Since then we have given them an opportunity to regularise the document and submit it to us for verification, that has not been done.

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“Now, this exercise started from Abossey-Okai on Monday. Because we have never been to Abossey-Okai for this exercise. When we went there we did not just start locking shops. We went there, we inspected the shops and we gave them notices that in 14-days they should ensure that all their necessary documentations be complete.

“These people have been served notices for over a year now,” he said.