The leader of the Nigeria Union of Traders Association (NUTAG), Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji has told the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila that Nigerian traders in Ghana have been subject to hardship by the Ghanaian authorities since 2007.
He added that Nigerian traders had their businesses registered with appropriate agencies while they pay their taxes as and when due, yet they were still subjected to harsh treatment by the Ghanaian authorities, The Punch said.
Nnaji said many Nigerian traders could not afford the latest $1m trade registration fee, adding that those who could not pay the sum still had their shops under lock and key.
Nnaji was quoted to have said this in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, titled, ‘Gbajabiamila hopeful of mutually acceptable resolutions to Ghanaian diplomatic face-off…as Nigerian traders narrate ordeals to Gbajabiamila.’
The Speaker, who led a delegation of members of the House on a “legislative diplomatic mission,” said the two-day visit to Ghana was meant to explore legislative diplomacy towards resolving the issues affecting both countries, according to the Punch.
The Nigerian delegation was received by the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, as they arrived in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
The Ghanaian Speaker, while receiving his Nigerian counterpart, expressed confidence that an amicable resolution would be reached on the issues.
Responding, Gbajabiamila said he was hopeful that Nigeria and Ghana would arrive at mutually acceptable resolutions on the trade dispute.
He said, “Brothers will always have squabbles, healthy ones. National interests on both sides will always come to play. But it is not the misunderstanding that matters; it is how you resolve it that matters.”
Meanwhile, a Ghanaian trader in Nigeria has cautioned the Ghanaian government against the possible retaliation by the Nigerian government on the Ghanaian community if there is no permanent solution to the incessant harassment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
Kofi Gyamfi, a spare parts dealer, who has a shop in Onipanu, a suburb of Lagos said that he and other Ghanaians have been living and working in Nigeria since 1992. He noted that during his 20 years stay in Lagos, the Nigerian authorities have never harassed or closed shops belonging to Ghanaians.
He added that Ghanaians are also noted for engaging in retail businesses like, managing boutiques, selling phones, and operating drinking bars.