Moved by publications in a section of the media where about 753 Nigerians in Ghana allegedly seek assistance of the Federal Government to evacuate them over lock up of their shops and other unfavorable trade policies in Ghana, the Eze Ndigbo of Ghana, HRM, Eze Dr. Chuks Ihenetu has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria and it’s Ghanaian counterpart to obey ECOWAS laws on free trade and movements of goods as permanent solutions to frequent locking up of Nigeria trades and investment in Ghana.
In a statement, Eze Ihenetu said things turned for the worse for over two million Nigerians in Ghana, when Nigeria government last year shut the Seme Border which served as gateway to other West African countries.
He recalled that shortly after this closure, which resulted in loss of Ghanaians goods at the Seme Border, the Ghanaian Trade union suddenly invoked their policy of 1 Million dollars counterpart fund for retail traders, which targeted only Nigerians.
He said since then, he and other stakeholders had engaged the trade unions. but when no much gain was achieved, Ghanaian minister of trade and his Nigerian counterpart were involved until early this year when speaker of Nigeria House of Reps, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila visited Ghana.
He added that since then, no any new Nigerian shops has been locked
While explaining that there is nothing wrong if Nigerians who are no longer favoured by the trade laws seek assistance to return home, the Eze cautioned that they make the request in such a way that it will not scuttle the peace achievement attained so far or create panic among our brothers at home.
“We the pioneers here are not even aware of this call for evacuation. It may be a plan initiated by one or two persons who may want to return home over unfavorable business atmosphere.
“The Federal Government did not bring us here to Ghana. Each and every one of us found our ways to this country to do business. So if the policy of the land is not comfortable with us or we can not meet up their rules and regulations, then we can go back home.”
On what Nigeria and Ghana must do to end the trade brouhaha, the royal father said: “Both nations should implement rules of ECOWAS which stipulates free movements of goods and free passage at international borders. They should tamper their laws with mercy taking into consideration that we are all humans, brothers and sisters from same West African sub region. Ghana should allow Nigerians to trade like other citizens from other parts of the world. For instance, in Ghana, Lebanese, Indians, Malians Beninois are all doing their business without disturbance. As Eze Ndigbo Ghana, I and other stakeholders have gone far with this agitation to open up the business. As I am talking to you now, they have not locked any shop after the coming of the speaker of the House of Reps, Hon Femi Gbajabiamilla and his Ghana counterpart, Prof. Mike Oqauye.
Eze Ihenetu further explained that with Ghanaian election around the corner, the political parties might want to use the Trade issue to play politics. “This is election year, Ghana will have their election in first week of December. You know during, election in Ghana, this issue of foreign trade always crop up as political parties use it for campaign purposes. We are hopeful that between January and February after the election, the issue of trade crisis will be permanently solved.
So I appeal to our people to exercise patience while we awaits outcome of the election.
Eze Ihenetu while calling on Nigerian to obey the laws of the land, and shun propaganda that could incite Ghanaians against Nigerians and vice versa, Eze Ihenetu urges Nigeria government to open the Seme Border to facilitate free movements of goods. He said it could amount to double standards if our borders remain closed while we are calling on Ghana to encourage free trade.