The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs), on Wednesday took their protest to the Abuja Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to protest the incessant maltreatment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
NANTs said in 2018, the Ministry of Trade and Industry(GIPC) and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in a joint operation established a taskforce with specific mandate to clamp down on Nigerian traders, saying this has eventually resulted in the ongoing closure of over 400 Nigerian Traders’ shops in Kumasi and the Ashanti region of Ghana.
NANTs President, Ken Ukuoha, who at the ECOWAS Secretariat, lamented that Nigerian traders are shutout of their business premises in pursuance of the eviction order dated 27th July 2018, demanding that traders must have $1million as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated in the said GIPC Act, 2013.
“We are deeply worried with the high level of government complicity and state sponsored incitement and xenophobic attacks on Nigerians on the street of Ghana. We can provide evidence based on information in video clips and recorded attacks leaving countless Nigerian traders at various hospitals.
“Regrettably on Saturday 22/09/2018, one of our female members, Mrs. Stella Ogonna Okpaleke whose shop has been under locks and keys by the Ghana authority committed suicide and died. Her body has been deposited in the mortuary.
“Another frustrating aspect of our travail in Ghana, is where government security agencies have continually expressed helplessness by turning their eyes the other way, when Ghanaian hired thugs and criminals unleash mayhem on Nigerians, molesting and looting their goods and properties.”
He said among NANTs demand, is the immediate reopening of the over 400 Nigerian owned locked shops in Ghana, as well as the immediate return of all seized goods.
He said the government should undertake to protect and provide security for all Nigerian traders and families and be held accountable for any ill treatment on Nigerian traders, or Nigerian citizens residing in Ghana.
Nigerians should not be subject to arbitrary and punitive taxation. GIPC Act should not be applied on Nigerian traders as we are not foreigners in Ghana but bonafide community citizens under ECOWAS Law, he stated.