Deji Elumoye and Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Senate yesterday ordered a comprehensive probe into the alleged harassment and ill treatment of Nigerian businessmen based in Ghana.
It also demanded investigation into the reported closure of over 600 shops and business belonging to Nigerians by Ghana Union of Traders Association on December 2.
The senate therefore asked its two committees on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment to liaise with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the status of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
The upper chamber averred that it was the responsibility of government to protect its citizens where ever they reside and that it was high time Nigeria engaged Ghanaian authority to find out what the actual situation was and proffer solution.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion titled, “The need to investigate alleged ill treatment and injustices suffered by Nigerian Traders and Business owners in Ghana,” moved at plenary by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah.
Presenting the motion, Ubah flayed the alleged injustice and ill treatment of Nigerian traders and Nigerian business owners in Ghana .
According to him, the attack became worrisome because 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.
Ubah said as at the end of 2010, Nigerian businesses accounted for 60 per cent of foreign investments in Ghana from African continent.
He stated that the once flourishing economic relations between Nigeria and Ghana had come under repeated threats as a result of recent hostile posture of Ghanaian authorities and indigenous Ghanaians Traders Union against Nigerian traders.
Ubah added the Ghanaians had adopted discriminatory legislations aimed at frustrating Nigerian traders such as the passage of the Ghana Investment Promotion Commission Act 865.
According to him, the measures and the protection offered Nigerian traders under the ECOWAS framework had failed to address the incessant threats to Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
He emphasised that unless the Senate intervenes, the situation may deteriorate into a serious diplomatic and economic crisis, saying the complaints of affected Nigerian traders and business owners are yet to receive the deserved attention by appropriate authorities from the Federal Government of Nigeria despite repeated written complaints.
Ubah said there was, therefore, an urgent need to investigate the allegations and indeed draw the attention of federal government and its relevant authorities to the unfortunate development.