The compliance committee exercise was not targeted on only Nigerians but rather all foreign nationals engaged in the retail business such as Indians, Lebanese, Chinese, and Egyptians etc.

“One may ask why Nigerians have only decided to cry wolf when there is no wolf. We would like to state categorically that this same directive is being implemented vigorously the Nigerian authorities to foreign nationals in Nigeria,” Ashanti regional Chairman for GUTA, Anthony Oppong quizzed.

In Nigeria

In February 2018, President of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammed Buhari signed an executive order known as ORDER 5, to prevent foreigners from doing jobs Nigerian can do.

There is also a massive task force operating in Nigeria preventing foreigners from engaging in retail trade at the markets and business centres that goes by name ASPANDA SPECIAL TASK FORCE ON FOREIGN TRADE.

There are many foreigners including Nigerians who have complied with the directives of the ministry of trade and industry and are doing their businesses in a congenial and friendly atmosphere with no impediments whatsoever on their way and they can testify to that

According to the leadership of GUTA, those who did not comply have their shops locked up till they satisfy the requirements such a business registration, submitting of tax returns and paying of appropriate taxes, documents to cover importation of goods and payment of duty taxes, and registration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

“Our intentions are not to harass, molest and intimidate any foreigner in Ghana but rather the authorities implement the statutory laws of Ghana without fear or favour.

All we are saying is that Ghana is a sovereign state and the laws in Ghana must be obeyed and adhered to by all and sundry whether the person is a citizen or a foreigner”, Mr Oppong explained.

The relationship between Nigeria and Ghana is crucial for the West African Region and trade. It is therefore important a lasting solution is found to address it before the unpleasant happens.

The letter

On October 9, 2018, the National Association of Nigerian traders and the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana petitioned Office their President over alleged xenophobic attacks in Ghana.

“Because of what is going on we want Mr President to come and salvage the situation save our souls, save the souls of Nigerians in Ghana from xenophobic attacks and from the dismantling of their means of livelihoods”

President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ken Ukaoha, in another meeting with members, said the actions by their Ghanaian counterparts violate ECOWAS protocols.

They also said 400 shops belonging to Nigerians have been locked up.

“One matter, a law that is inconsistent with that of ECOWAS protocols and ECOWAS treaty was pushed in by Ghanaian parliament to the extent that nobody is supposed to do business in Ghana except if you have one million dollars as investment capital

“And we are crying for the whole world to hear that ECOWAS may act before it is too late, there are many more nationals living in Nigeria, we might take steps also to crush integration and that is not in the best interest of ECOWAS”, He called on the ECOWAS community to intervene.”