FG faults closure of Nigerians’ shops in Ghana, considers reprisals


The Federal Government has faulted the closure of the business premises belonging to Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities, saying it may consider retaliatory actions.

The government also said that it may drag Ghana to the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, if found to have breached the sub-region’s Protocol of Free Movement of Peoples.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said this in Abuja on Monday, during a meeting with a delegation of the League of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria led by its President, Mr Jasper Emenike, which briefed him on the harassment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Ghanaian officials had sealed off the shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Accra for allegedly failing to have the $1 million equity stipulated by the Ghana Investment Promotions Council.

The minister recalled that the FG reached an agreement with Ghana on the GIPC regulations over a year ago but expressed concern that the matter has reared its head again.

He added that the Ghanaian code that made retail trade the exclusive preserve of Ghanaians appeared to be in conflict with the ECOWAS Protocol.

Onyeama noted, “What is the point of having an economic community if at the end of the day, each country will make laws and regulations that are in contradiction with the protocol? That is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

The minister further said that the Minister of Trade would engage his Ghanaian counterpart on the situation, adding that he (Onyeama) had earlier met with the Ghanaian High Commissioner, who provided information on the development.

He said, “We have the intention of calling our Charge’ D Affairs in Ghana for consultation and again to get to the fact. We don’t want to anticipate what our actions would be but we will consider all the options depending on the facts.

“Clearly, if it is contravening ECOWAS Protocol, then we would have to look at solution including the ECOWAS Court as the final arbiter.

“We will also consider the issue of reciprocity in terms of the concrete measures that will be applied. We are following the matter very closely and we want the matter to be addressed within the shortest possible time,” Onyeama noted.

Emenike described the action as a xenophobic attack, adding that it was taking a disturbing dimension.