Despite the public outcry on incessant attacks on Nigerian Traders in Ghana, that has persisted for over a decade, resulting to series of confrontations between Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Nigeria Union of Traders Ghana (NUTAG), GUTA has continued its operation of clamping down on foreign traders by locking more shops of foreigners in Ghana which Nigerian Traders seems to be of the highest number of victims or possibly the only victims.
Its unfortunate that regardless of the double protest of the Nigerian traders that held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abuja Nigeria and at the Nigeria High Commission in Accra on Wednesday the 19th of August 2020 simultaneously, GUTA persisted with its closing of shops, a strong signal to ECOWAS and Nigerian Govt that they are unperturbed and determined to see the total elimination of foreign traders in Ghana markets.
Instead of receding ,the GUTA led committee of Trade Task force enforcing Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) Law ACT 865, Section 27 A that stifles a foreigners opportunity to participate in retail trade in Ghana has rather extended their clamp down operation to Kasoa ,Ashiaman and other towns and cities in Ghana.
The double peaceful demonstration from Nigerian traders in Abuja and Accra in which they petitioned their Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigeria High Commission in Ghana to intervene in the issue was peaceful but its yet to result to any new development in the favour of the embittered Nigerian traders as the over 200 locked shops remain under GUTA Chains.
The President of NUTAG, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, voiced his concerns over the tragic situation of Nigerian traders to the media at the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana during last Wednesdays demonstration.
“They have continued to lock up our businesses, including our warehouses, and also harass our business partners.
“This implies that they really want us to run out of basic supplies like food or other amenities of life.
“We are ready to return to Nigeria if that is the only option; we are not violating any law in Ghana, but Ghanaian authorities are treating us like outcasts in their dealings with us.
“They are denying us our rights by delaying the renewal of our resident permit and increasing and introducing new fees every now and then,” he said.
From all indications it is very clear that this issue is not going away anytime soon unless the government of the two nations puts head together to find a lasting solution, because its now very clear that this recent debacle that started with closure of shops belonging to Nigerian Traders in Circle since December 2019 is reaching a crescendo that is bound to result to violence.
Nigerian traders in Ghana are getting extremely frustrated, the authorities needs to intervene in the shortest time possible before the current tension between the GUTA and NUTAG destroys the bilateral relationship of Nigeria and Ghana.