Nigeria’s West African neighbour, Ghana, has again begged the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind its decision on the closure of the country’s land border as the effect of the border closure bites harder for Ghana and other West African neighbours.
Charles Owiredu, Ghana’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, made the plea when he met with Ambassador Zubairu Dada in charge of foreign affairs in Nigeria.
It was learnt that at the meeting, the Ghanaian and Nigerian officials discussed strategies to ease the challenges faced by Ghana over the border closure by Nigeria.
The Ghanaian minister said the meeting was a follow-up to the previous one held with Nigeria and argued that the policy by Buhari’s government went against the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol of free movement of goods.
But the Nigerian minister of state told the Ghanaian delegation that their country was not the target of the border closure.
He explained that the decision of the federal government to close the borders was to discourage the movement of illicit goods into the country.
He also said the government’s action was temporary. He also said the government took the decision to tackle the nation’s insecurity.
“The meeting agreed that in order to address the concerns raised by the Republic of Ghana, a census of vehicles coming into Nigeria from Ghana will be conducted to ascertain facts and collectively device means of giving them access into the country,” a statement from Dada’s office read.
Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) have gone on rampage closing shops belonging to foreigners in commercial hubs in the Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi in the Ashanti region.
The closure that begun from Alarbar spread to Adhye and Kejetia Wednesday.
The Ashanti Regional President of the Nigerian Association of Traders Union told Newsmen he has asked his nationals not to retaliate when the errant people beseech their shops.
He pointed out that the faces of the GUTA members do not look familiar and wondered why they all refused to show any identity.
He told reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, “as we speak now, there are some of the guys here at magazine closing shops belonging to foreigners.”
He however indicated that the Manhyia Divisional Commander ACP Kwaku Boah had deployed some police personnel who had come to break the padlocks of some of the locked shops.
The executive of the Ashanti Region chapter of the Ghana Union of Traders Association who were contacted insisted they will not speak to the media until they were done with a meeting they had convened.
It is the fifth time this year that shops belonging to Nigerians have been locked by Ghanaian traders.
Last month, more than 30 Nigerian-owned shops were locked by unidentified individuals in Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi.
Recently, local traders in Accra said on a radio show that the locks are a warning to the government to enforce the law that bars foreigners from participating in the retail market.
The president of the Nigerian traders union in Ghana, Chukwuemeka Nnaji, told BBC Pidgin that “the Ecowas protocol gives all citizens of member states equal rights to do business, reside and establish a business in each member state”.
“We Nigerians in Ghana have the right to trade here in any kind of business, the law they are quoting is not applicable to Nigerians”, Mr Nnaji added.
But Ghanaian traders insist they want the government to enforce a 2013 law, which they say limits retailing in the country only to Ghanaians.
The shops in the capital remain locked and police have met with Ghanaian and Nigerian traders to resolve the situation.