The Nigerian Senate has directed its Committees on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Investment to investigate the alleged shutdown of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
The probe was initiated as the operation of about 600 businesses belonging to Nigerians were allegedly shut because of Nigeria’s stance to leave its land borders closed.
The Senate instructed the Committees to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to unravel the reasons for the shutdown. According to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the protection of Nigerians, regardless of their countries of residence, is the responsibility of the Nigerian government.
Why the shutdown? The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) reportedly shut down the operation of some small and medium businesses owned by Nigerians on several occasions after the closure of Nigeria’s land borders. The action has been viewed as reactions to the border closure.
Although the trade union said it carried out the action in accordance with the Ghanaian constitution, which disallows foreigners from operating certain businesses in the country, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Carlos Ahenkorah, frowned at the action, stating Ghana was not ready for a trade war with Nigeria.
What Nigerian Senate is saying: The decision to investigate the treatment given to Nigerians in Ghana was made following a motion moved by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah. The motion was titled, “The need to investigate alleged ill-treatment and injustices suffered by Nigerian traders and business owners in Ghana.”
Ubah acknowledged that the business relationship between Nigeria and Ghana was being affected by the mistreatment of Nigerian business owners.
He added that, “Ghana and Nigeria, as members of ECOWAS, have reciprocal obligations under the ECOWAS Protocol to their respective citizens to reside and do business within their territories without molestation.”