Don’t leave Ghana over $1 million equity payment, Aregbesola tells Nigerian traders

ON Tuesday, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior called on Nigerian traders in Ghana not to leave the country because of the plan by the Ghanian authorities to enforce $1 million equity payment as a condition for operating business.

He disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja after he received a delegation of the Nigerian Traders Association in Ghana, an affiliate of the Nigerian Traders Association, led by its National President, Ken Ukaoha.

The statement which was delivered by Mohammed Manga, the interior ministry spokesperson said the Federal Government was engaging with the Ghanaian authorities and other relevant stakeholders with a view to resolving the challenges of the Nigerian traders.

“Your pains cannot endure, we will not abandon you, no stone is being left unturned to remove the pains you are passing through in Ghana,” he said.

The Ghanian law stipulates that a person, who is not a citizen, may engage in a trading enterprise if that person invests in the enterprise not less than $1 million in cash or goods and services relevant to the investment.

The closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana started in 2018 when their Ghanaian counterparts began clamouring for foreigners to stop the retail trade in their country.

The situation deteriorated in November 2019 as the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA members shut over 300 shops belonging to Nigerians in Kumasi, Magazine, Alaba, Kejeta, Edum and Suame areas.

In Accra, about 50 shops were locked up by the Ghanaian traders, while 15 others were sealed off for over a year, according to reports.






     

     

    The Minister stressed that the government was not sleeping on the matter but “doing everything possible to make life better for its citizens in Ghana and other countries of the world.”

    Ukaoha revealed what he referred to as the agony, humiliation and torture of Nigerian traders in Ghana, which started when the Ghanaian government’s decision to raise the capital base of any foreign trader doing business in the country to $1 million, and the subsequent locking up of shops belonging to Nigerian traders since 2019.

    He added that despite various interventions by representatives of the FG, nothing significant had been done by the Ghanaian government to reverse the trend.

    “If we react proportionately to the way we have been treated in Ghana, it might lead to a serious crisis,” he noted.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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