Monday, October 2, 2023

The unending trade impasse between Ghana and Nigeria escalates

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

The ongoing trade war between Ghana and Nigeria doesn’t seem to be getting closer to an end anytime soon.

Both countries have moved the impasse to a governmental level as they trade accusations, further deepening existing strained relations.

On Friday Nigeria’s government cautioned Ghana over the continuous closure of shops, incessant harassment and acts of hostility towards its citizens.

A statement from the Nigeria’s Ministry of Information warned that such acts will no longer be tolerated.

The statement was in reaction to continued action by Ghana to drive close shops belonging to foreigners including Nigerians in the retail sector in Ghana.

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“The Nigerian Government is deeply concerned by the incessant harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities, and will no longer tolerate such.

In this regard, the Federal Government is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation,” the statement added.

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The statement added that “Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana.

But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule. This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.”

Ghana reacts strongly

On Sunday the government of Ghana also in a statement rejected accusations by Nigeria of intimidation and maltreatment of Nigerian nationals in Ghana.

In a six-page response signed by its Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, explained that it was incorrect to suggest Nigerians were being targeted for maltreatment in Ghana.

“The Government of Ghana notes, with concern, a statement, dated Friday, August 28, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Information and Culture and signed by the Federal Minister, Hon. Lai Mohammed, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, concerning current relations between Ghana and Nigeria.

Ghana remains committed to the maintenance of warm relations with all sister nations, particularly, for well-known historical reasons, with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and will proceed to engage the Federal Government of Nigeria with a view to resolve comprehensively and exhaustively any matters that have the potential to sour relations between the two countries” the statement said.

Mr. Nkrumah said “Ghana finds it imperative, however, from the onset, to state, for the public record, that the outline of issues by the Nigerian Federal Minister is not reflective of the developments in Ghana. Any protests, decisions or actions based on these reports will, thus, be unjustified.

The Information minister used the opportunity as a first step, to provide a more reflective account of events, while urging both countries to pursue substantive diplomatic engagements to resolve matters.

The statement by the Government of Ghana also assured that President Akufo-Addo, who currently has a very excellent relations with his Nigerian counterpart will engage President Buhari with a view to develop immediately a framework for validating claims of ill treatment of citizens of either country, and ensure citizens enjoy the full exercise of their rights, while respecting the sovereignty and laws of both countries.

Relations between Ghana and Nigeria this year have been threatened after properties belonging to the Nigerian high commission in Ghana were destroyed wrongly.

The trade impasse is further deepening strained relations which could further escalate sooner if diplomatic resolution isn’t secured.


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