The federal government, on Wednesday, said that it was hopeful of a speedy resolution of alleged maltreatment of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana.
Reacting to recent developments in the neighbouring country, where a new law requires Nigerians investors there to have an initial capital of $300,000 and employ 10 Ghanaians before they can start any business in Ghana regardless of its size, the federal government said it cannot ignore an obvious violation of the ECOWAS protocol.
Nigerian businessmen operating in Ghana recently protested over the closure of their shops by Ghanaian authorities for allegedly operating illegally and inability to comply with the new government policy.
Labaran Maku, the Minister for Information, told journalists on Wednesday that the federal government was confident that the Ghanaian authorities would reconsider the policy, especially after ECOWAS intervention.
“Nigeria and Ghana enjoy very cordial and friendly relations; they are one of our foremost business partners in the West African sub region. “In ECOWAS, we share common values, common vision for this sub continent and Ghana has always supported Nigeria on all major issues within and outside Africa and we also always stand by Ghana. Yes, there will always be disagreement between neighbours on issues; even between husbands and wives, there are times of quarrel.
But in particular reference to the incidence in Ghana, the government, within the rules outlined by ECOWAS and other international conventions, made presentations on behalf of Nigerians in Ghana. And currently, the information available is that Ghana is also considering the suspension of the demands on Nigerians in Ghana, following the intervention of the Nigerian government and the ECOWAS parliament. That doesn’t mean that the problem is finally resolved, but that it creates an opportunity for both Nigeria and Ghana to resolve these problems amicably.”
Maku said the federal government was committed to promoting free economic activities for citizens of countries in the sub region for the ultimate good of all. According to him, collaborations among countries in the region have yielded numerous benefits to member countries and would continue to do so.
“So I assure you that both Nigeria and Ghana will continue to work together to resolve any teething problems that will arise as we continue to integrate West Africa and to promote economic development, fight poverty and the development of this sub region,” he said.
Nigerian investors in Ghana are predominantly involved in real estate, textile and garments, electronics, banking, telecommunications and tourism.
The Ghanaian government had also imposed high tariffs on merchandising of Nigerian movies in the country.