The Majority leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has called for an emergency meeing of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the impasse between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders.
Tensions between retailers from the two West African countries have escalated in recent times amidst claims that Nigerians domiciled in Ghana have taken over retail businesses, an action which is in violation of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act.
The GIPC ACT limits retailing in Ghana to only Ghanaians but some Nigerian nationals are into the trade.
Ghanaian traders in Abossey Okai and Suame have issued an ultimatum to the government to stop Nigerians from the retail business or incur their wrath.
On Wednesday, 19 June 2019 two Nigerian-owned shops at Suame in Kumasi were ransacked by raucous Ghanaian youths.
The destruction of the shops was to register their displeasure against a decision by the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) to reopen closed Nigerian retail shops.
This led to a near-clash between the Nigerians and the Ghanaians.
Speaking to Class 91.3FM’s Parliamentary correspondent, Ekow Anan on Thursday, 20 June 2019, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who is the MP for Suame proposed an early reconvening of the highest decision making body of countries in West Africa to address the recent disturbances.
He said: “We have the conventions relating to ECOWAS protocol that we have also acceded to. Unfortunately, what is happening in the entire sub-region is that none of the countries is also conforming.
“Ghanaian goods are sent to Burkina Faso, they are sent to Togo, they are sent to Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia and Nigeria. They prevent our accessing of the markets of those countries so why is it that we should just allow for one of the protocols – free movement of goods and services and refuse to accept that the others are necessary to expand the market base for the countries.
“The authority of heads of state will need to have a meeting on this. If we want to go the way of protocols we should apply all of them.”