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Nigerian traders in Ghana petition Buhari over locked shops

Nigerian traders protest closure of businesses in Ghana.
Nigerian traders protest closure of businesses in Ghana.

The National Association of Nigerian Traders in Ghana (NANTS) and Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG) has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over continuous closure of over 400 Nigerian shops by the Ghanaian authority.

The petition was received by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in Abuja.

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Barrister Ken Ukaoha, NANTS President-General, lamented that Nigerian shops still remain closed despite President Buhari’s intervention, who took up the matter with his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Akufo-Addo on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York, with a promise that the shops will be re-opened.

He said the discrimination against Nigerian traders in Ghana dated back to 2007 when they were subjected to paying exorbitant taxes geared towards ruining their business.

According to him, the Ghanaian authorities passed a law which compels all foreigners to have a minimum of $300,000 USD in 2007 and later increased it to $1 million USD in 2018 as minimum capital to start a business in Ghana.

He noted that Nigerian traders were specifically targeted as over 400 shops belonging to Nigerians were locked up since July 27, 2018 till date despite their various appeals to the appropriate authorities.

Regrettably, he said a Nigerian, Mrs Stella Upaleke, had committed suicide, because of the huge bank debts the closure had caused her and still in the mortuary in Ghana.

Corroborating, Chief Emeka Nnaji, President of NUTAG said that Nigerian goods worth billions of dollars are being locked up with sizeable number of it as perishable.

Responding on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hon. Dabiri-Erewa commended them for the matured way the matter was handled and assured them of delivering the petition to the President.

She was worried that despite the assurance of President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana to President Muhammadu Buhari that the shops will be re-opened, and despite an instruction to reopen the shops on Sept 27, the shops still remain closed.

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