“Nigerian retailers” Ghanaian government has assured that Nigerian traders were not affected by the recent quit notice warning foreigners to vacate its retail markets.
Foreign nationals engaged in retail business in Ghana were on July 11 issued a quit notice to vacate the country’s markets. Ghanaian law reserves operation of retail business only for citizens.
The National Association of Nigerian Traders had warned that the quit notice could spark xenophobic attacks.
But Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said Nigerians and other ECOWAS citizens were not affected by the quit notice.
“This has nothing to do with our ECOWAS brothers and sisters. It was more to do with other nationals,” Botchwey told journalists on Monday when she paid a courtesy call on her Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
She said, “Yes, there is a problem that Nigerians and other ECOWAS citizens have been cut up in this issue of traders being given quit notice to exit our markets with their retail trade which is, by the law of Ghana, reserved for Ghanaians.
“Our government is doing what it can; sitting with the Ghana Traders Association to ensure that there is that understanding that it has nothing to do with Nigerian and other ECOWAS traders.
“Even at the governmental level, we are dealing with it and the president himself is handling the matter to ensure that it does not escalate.
“I’m here to assure you that between Ghana and Nigeria, this will never be an issue and we will not allow it to be an issue.”
In his remarks, Onyeama said the Ghanaian minister’s visit demonstrated the country’s concern that Nigeria should, in no way, interpret the issue as xenophobia against Nigerian traders.
“The 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 said.