President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed concern over the frosty relationship between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders in the past few months and believes that urgent steps must be taken to resolve such issues.
The President said talks are ongoing to resolve the matter after he asked Ghanaian traders who had locked up foreign-owned shops not to take the law into their own hands.
Speaking at a ceremony at the Jubilee House to bid farewell to the outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Olufemi Michael Abikoye, Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana will continue to open its doors to Nigerians as it believes that the two countries as “friends” can amicably resolve the ensuing challenges and foster socio-economic development.
“Some of the problems that you know about, we need to find a resolution to them as soon as possible. Trade issues, the border and our own internal problems with the Nigerians involved in Ghanaian retail business; these are matters that friends should be able to sit down and resolve. We hope that both of them are going to be resolved and brought to closure so that we can continue this social and economic development on an even and positive heel,” Akufo-Addo said.
Members of the Ghana Union Traders have been on a warpath with Nigerian traders engaged in retail trade which is against local laws.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and particularly Nigerian traders in the country have been in bad terms following series of actions taken by GUTA to stop the Nigerians from trading within the retail space, most of it involving forceful closure of their shops.
There have been calls for the two to meet and resolve their challenges to work cordially but GUTA has reportedly expressed its unwillingness to be part of such meeting.
The Nigerian traders have however insisted that the ECOWAS protocol which allows the free movement of people, goods and services in West African countries also allows them to trade in Ghana.
Again, another challenge affecting Ghana and Nigeria’s relationship is the closure of Nigeria’s border with Benin which has caused many Ghanaian products left stranded at the border.