Nigeria may take “urgent steps” following a viral video showing the forced closure of shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana.
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama made the announcement in a tweet, as he expressed his government’s “dismay”
The new row is coming months after a major diplomatic skirmish in which a building in the Nigerian embassy compound in Ghana was demolished.
The current viral video shows a Nigerian man speaking to security agents locking up his shop in Ghana. The man claimed in the video that he was asked to pay $1m (£750,000) as tax.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s trade ministry spokesperson, Prince Boakye Boateng, disclosed that the government was forced to act because the businesses failed to comply with the rules.
He said the businesses had only reopened in July after being shut for six months.
The re-opening came following discussions between the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments.
Nigerian Government has watched with dismay the painful videos of the forceful closure of the shops of Nigerian traders in #Ghana. Urgent steps will be taken. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19 @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @ecowas_cedeao
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) August 17, 2020
Authorities in Ghana dispute this, saying foreigners are only allowed to open a business in Ghana if they invest $1m.
A pressure group, the Human Rights Writers Association, has called on the Nigeria government to retaliate against Ghanaian businesses in Nigeria.
Some Nigerians are questioning the rationale behind Ghana’s imposition of conditions, considering agreements on free trade and movement reached by the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).
Many Nigerians in Ghana are contemplating to leave the country after their businesses were sealed.
The head of the Nigerian Traders’ Association in Ashanti region said: “We are used to shops being locked, but this is the first time the government is involved,”
Ghana demands foreign investors to have at least at least $1m (£750,000) to trade in the country, which many complain is extortionate and a way sending away African investors.
Also, Ghana Union of Traders Association, accused foreign traders of unfair competition and breaking the rules.
Alhaji Abdulaziz Ibrahim, the head of the chancery at the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana, said Nigeria enjoyed “a special relationship (with Ghana) at a government to government level” and “expect a swift resolution”.
The social media is alight with insulting comments against Nigeria centering on the nation’s discriminatory and ‘xenophobic’ tendencies against Nigeria especially.
Nigerians are often under fire everywhere they go, as they have strong business acumen and prosper anywhere they are at, to the envy and jealousy of the citizens.
Nigerians top the list of countries South Africans want out other country for reasons ranging from dominations of business space to crime, among others.
Many Nigerians blame their government who refuse to fix the country making them victims of discrimination and abuse from ‘lesser countries’.
Nigerians top the list of the most travelled Africans for education, leisure and greener pasture.