|[Published: Wednesday August 08 2018]
Ghana exempts Nigerian retail traders from quit notice
By MOHAMMED MOMOH
ACCRA, 08 August. - (ANA) - Nigerian traders will not be affected by the quit notice for foreigners to vacate retail business in Ghana, a minister said Monday.
Ghanaian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey, said this when she paid a courtesy call to her Nigerian counterpart Mr Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja.
On July 11, Ghana issued a notice barring foreigners from engaging in retail as the country’s law reserves the trade for citizens only.
The announcement raised tension and sparked fears of xenophobic attacks.
Nigerian traders have since been complaining that they are being forcefully evicted by their Ghanaian counterparts.
But Ms Botchwey, in a bid to allay the fears, said the notice would not affected nationals from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) bloc, which Nigeria is a member.
“This has nothing to do with our Ecowas brothers and sisters. It was more to do with other nationals,” she said, adding that the government was holding talks with the Ghana Traders Association to “ensure that there is that understanding”.
She said President Nana Akufo-Addo was “handling the matter himself to ensure that it does not escalate”.
Mr Onyeama said the Ghanaian minister’s visit was to “assure the government and the people of Nigeria that the government of Ghana is on top of the situation and would resolve the issue.”
He added that: “For her to travel here to meet with me for one hour, I think, demonstrates the concern of the Ghanaian government that Nigeria should in no way interpret this as some kind of xenophobia against Nigerians.”
Mr Onyeama said Ghana was working towards streamlining its laws to be in compliance with the Ecowas Protocol of Free Movement of persons, goods and services. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/08 August 2018 - - -