The Nigerian government has vowed that it would take “urgent steps” following a viral video showing the closure of shops belonging to traders from that country in Ghana.
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama made the announcement in a tweet, as he expressed his government’s “dismay”:
"Nigerian Government has watched with dismay the painful videos of the forceful closure of the shops of Nigerian traders in #Ghana. Urgent steps will be taken. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19 @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @ecowas_cedeao
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) August 17, 2020"
It comes just months after a major diplomatic row in which a building in the Nigerian embassy compound in Ghana was demolished.
The video in question shows a Nigerian man speaking to security agents locking up his shop in Ghana. The man claimed in the video that he was asked to pay $1m (£750,000) as tax.
The response by the Nigerian government comes after Members of the Local Union of the Ghana Union of Traders Association in Koforidua in the Eastern region on Thursday agitated over the influx of foreigners mostly Nigerians in the retail business contrary to the laws of Ghana.
The local GUTA Chapter has therefore issued an ultimatum demanding closure of all retail shops of the Nigerians by August 31,2020 threatening to unleash thugs to forcefully eject the Nigerians from the local market if their calls are not heeded.
This follows months of clashes between Nigerian traders and their counterparts in the retail space in Ghana.
There have been clashes at the Abossey Okai, Circle and Kumasi between Nigerian traders and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
Meanwhile a pressure group, the Human Rights Writers Association, has called on the Nigeria government to retaliate against Ghanaian businesses in Nigeria.
Some Nigerians are questioning the rationale behind Ghana’s imposition of conditions, considering agreements on free trade and movement reached by the regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).
Nigerian Government has watched with dismay the painful videos of the forceful closure of the shops of Nigerian traders in #Ghana. Urgent steps will be taken. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19 @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @ecowas_cedeao— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) August 17, 2020