The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has hit back at the Nigerian government for saying it can no longer tolerate the incessant harassment of its citizens in Ghana.
According to the President of the Association, Dr Joseph Obeng, Ghana has done no wrong enforcing its laws to ensure that, illegal retail traders vacate the market space for legitimate traders to operate.
He averred that the Nigerian government cannot attack Ghana by ‘bombing’ the country for doing what is right, hence, it was inappropriate for their Information Ministry to issue a threat to Ghana after some foreigners’ shops – including Nigerians were closed down – after the Trades Ministry’s task force embarked on a documentation exercise.
In an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb’s Ernestina Serwaa Asante, the GUTA President said, “By the tone of his (Nigerian Information Minister’s) letter, does that mean Ghana has done something that is so much at the risk of Nigeria even for them to say that they are going to throw an atomic bomb on Ghana? No, they cannot throw a bomb on us. All that they can do is to enforce their sovereign laws so what is the threat about?”
By this, Dr Obeng explained that if Nigerians feel attacked, all their government can do is to also enforce their local laws to safeguard their market space.
“All that they can do is to also enforce local laws. If they want to enforce it and protect their citizens like the way they closed their border to bring security to their country and also to curb dumping as they said so that they can protect the local production of rice and other things, that is the protectionist approach.”
“The fact that they also submitted over 45 products from entering its country also means that they were being protectionist on their manufacturers so what bars Ghana from enforcing its laws especially when what you are doing is not in contravention with anything.”
The GUTA president reiterated the need for foreigners to understand that Ghana, as a sovereign country, has the right to enforce its laws adding that any attempt for another country to superimpose its powers on Ghana will not be accepted.
The Nigerian government in a statement said it can no longer tolerate the incessant harassment of its citizens in Ghana.
This comes after several Nigerian shop owners, who did not have the required documents, had their retail businesses closed down by the Trades Ministry’s Inter-Ministerial Taskforce in Accra, Kumasi, and Koforidua.
In Kumasi, over 90 shops suspected to be for Nigerians were closed down after the inspection by the Task Force.
The Government of Ghana, has, on the other hand, rejected the accusations of intimidation and maltreatment of Nigerian Nationals in Ghana made by Nigeria.