Scores of Nigerian traders operating in Ghana are angry with the government over the closure of their shops.
Hundreds of the shops have been locked up at the Tip Toe lane in the capital Accra by the inter-agency taskforce on foreign retail trade for failing to comply with the country’s investment laws.
The laws among others require foreigners operating in the retail market which has been reserved for Ghanaians to invest at least $1 Million in their businesses.
Some of the Nigerian traders resisted the closure of their shops, compelling the taskforce to call for a reinforcement of the security team deployed to supervise the exercise.
A spokesperson for the Nigerian traders Kacey Ogbonna has condemned what he described as the unfair treatment of the Nigerian traders.
He is also accusing the taskforce of targeting the Nigerian traders and allowing other nationals to operate in the retail market without complying with the said laws.
“Most of the Nigerians whose shops are being closed have fulfilled the GIPC requirement. Some of the shops being closed belong to Nigerians whose wives and children are Ghanaians,” Mr Ogbonna said.
Mr. Igbona also hinted that there could be reprisal attacks on Ghanaians trading in Nigeria.
“If you go into the issue, you’ll realize most of the shops being closed are not supposed to be closed. Nigerians are having the feeling they are being chased and it could have rippling effects over there in Nigeria because there are about 2 million Ghanaians trading in Nigeria”.
Some of the Nigerian traders have also hinted that they will pack out of the country if the alleged harassment continues.
But the taskforce has defended its actions, saying it gave the foreigners ample time to comply with the investment laws. Head of Communications at the Trade and Industry Ministry Prince Boakye Baoteng has also denied the accusations of unfair treatment.
“Every national can do business in Ghana. But in doing business you must comply with the regulatory measures. Retail trading per the GIPC Act is the preserve of Ghanaians.
We are only telling people that this issue of entitlement mentality where everybody thinks that because they come from a county nearby they have the right to do anything that will not be countenance in this country” he said.
The taskforce has also hinted that it will extend the distress action to other retail markets in the West African nation to enforce the country’s investment laws.