The Federal Government has warned against the hostility on Nigeria and Nigerians by Ghanaian authority stating that it won’t tolerate such again.
The Presidency said this through a statement on its social media stating that Nigeria has maintained a cordial relationship with Ghana and so will not tolerate any hostility under any guise.
The statement reads, “The Federal Government has been documenting the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities… This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.”
Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana. But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule. This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.”
Presidency also appealed to Nigerians living in Ghana to remain law-abiding and avoid violence despite their ordeal.
“In the meantime, the Federal Government wishes to appeal to its citizens resident in Ghana to remain law-abiding and avoid engaging in self-help, despite their ordeal.”
Speaking on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of information and Communication, Lai Mohammed noted that more than 300 Nigerian shops were locked for four months in Kumasi in 2018, while over 600 Nigerian shops were locked in 2019, and currently, over 250 Nigerian shops had been locked.
“Residency Permit requirements for which the Ghana Immigration Service has placed huge fees, far higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service.
“These include the compulsory Non-citizen ID card (120 U.S.120 dollars, and 60 U.S. dollars for yearly renewal), Medical examinations, including for Covid-19 which is newly-introduced (about 120 U.S. dollars), and payment for a residency permit (400 U.S dollars compared to the N7,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria).”
The minister also identified outrageous stipulations in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act. “When the Act was initially promulgated in 1994, a foreigner is required to invest at least 300 000 U.S. dollars by way of equity capital and <span;>also employ 10 Ghanaians.
“This Act has now been amended twice, with the 2018 GIPC Act raising the minimum capital base for foreign-owned businesses to one million U.S. dollars.
“Though targeted at foreigners, it seems GIPC’s definition of foreigners is Nigerians. The GIPC Act also negates the ECOWAS Protocol. The minister said that the Federal Government frowned at the media war against Nigerians in Ghana.
“He raised the alarm that the negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media was fuelling an emerging xenophobic attitude towards Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general.
“The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.
“Harsh and openly-biased judicial trial and pronouncement of discriminately-long jail terms for convicted Nigerians. “There are currently more than 200 Nigerians in the Nsawam Maximum prison in Ghana alone,” he said.
Mohammed said the Government would like to put on record the fact that even though more than one million Ghanaians are resident in Nigeria, they are not being subjected to the kind of hostility being meted out to Nigerians in Ghana.
He added that, though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra was the non-renewal of the lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authorities did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the lease.
“By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized.
“But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule.