Respite is underway for Nigerian business community in Ghana as the government of the West African nation promises to reconsider its policy on foreign businesses, which led to the closure of over 400 Nigerian-owned shops in the Ashanti Region of the country.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, gave the indication on his Facebook page, @iamekweremadu, on Sunday, following discussions with the Regional Minister of Ashanti Region, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah.
A statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of the Senate, Uche Anichukwu, said Ekweremadu stressed that the freedom of the peoples of the sub-region to ply their trades in any part of West Africa was central to the prosperity of ECOWAS.
It could be recalled that the Government of Ghana had in August this year ordered the closure of over 400 shops belonging to Nigerians at the expiration of an eviction order issued by the Ministry of Trade.
However, reacting to the development on his Facebook page, on Sunday, Ekweremadu, who is a former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, said: “I spoke with the Regional Minister of Ashanti, Ghana, my brother and former Deputy at the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, over the weekend on the pains of the Nigerian business community in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, on the sealing of over 400 Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana, especially in Kumasi.
“We shared thoughts on the need to uphold the spirit and letters of the various ECOWAS Protocols as well as the pursuit of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, which aims at a transition from an ECOWAS of states to ECOWAS of peoples.
“Osei-Mensah assured me of the safety of Nigerian businesses and people in Ghana, noting that he would personally take up the matter with the authorities to ensure that the shops were reopened immediately.
“Nigeria and Ghana have come a long way and it is my hope that we will continue to nurture this relationship for the mutual benefits of our respective countries.
“Meanwhile, I am in touch with the Nigerian community in Ghana, including the National President, Nigerian Union of Traders Associations, Ghana, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nnaji, and have urged them to remain calm, law-abiding, and continue to live in peace with their hosts in the spirit of African and ECOWAS brotherhood”.