Nigerian traders hail Buhari, ECOWAS for reopening shops in Ghana

Nigerian traders hail Buhari, ECOWAS for reopening shops in Ghana

By Isaac Aregbesola

The Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG), has commended President Mohammadu Buhari-led government, ECOWAS, Ghanaian authority and others for their intervention in the reopening of Nigerians shops in Ghana.

The President of NUTAG, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, said this in a telephone conversation with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Kumasi Ghana on Thursday.

NAN reports that hundreds of shops run by Nigerians were reportedly shut following an impasse with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

The closure of the shops was allegedly in compliance with authorities mulling some legislation compelling foreigners to have one million dollars (R14.3 million) as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana.

Nnaji who confirmed the reopening of the shops by the authority in Ghana said that the government of Nigeria had worked so hard to achieve the feat.

“Yes, the Government of Nigeria has worked so hard to bring this success. All our shops are now opened. We want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his intervention,” he said.

He recalled that President Buhari had sent a special envoy led by Foreign Affairs Minister, and President of ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Brou, to Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo over the matter.

“We also commend the ECOWAS president, Jean Claude Brou, and his commissioners and other envoys sent to Ghana so many times over the issue.

“We also want to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, for their efforts,” he said.

Nnaji noted that the Minister had on Nov 2, summoned the Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Rashid Bawa, over the situation on the reopening of the shops.

He commended the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Amb. Olufemi Abikoye, and his Ghanaian counterpart, Bawa, on their efforts in resolving the impasse.

Nnaji also expressed the union’s appreciation to Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo for his efforts and the role played in ensuring that the closed shops were reopened.

NAN also recalled that President Akufo-Addo had assured Nigerians in his country of freedom to operate their businesses without harassment.

Akufo-Addo said this while receiving President Buhari’s Special Envoy to Ghana, led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geofrey Onyeama.

He urged Nigerians to go about their normal businesses in Ghana.

“As far as the traders are concerned, the shops are re-opened; people are back to work.

“Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act will never be applicable to ECOWAS citizens; so people can get on with their normal lives,” he said.