Nigeria traders in Ghana have raised the alarm over the alleged closure of their shops.
Chukwuemeka Nnaji, president of the Nigerian Traders Union in Ghana, told NAN on Saturday that shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Accra were locked up by Ghanaian authorities who demanded evidence of their Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) registration.
According to the GIPC, for general trading, the requirement is $1,000,000 minimum foreign equity, while registration fee is 31,500 cedis.
Nnaji explained that most of the traders could not afford the requirements for the registration, which they were given two weeks to pay.
He added that an inter-ministerial taskforce went round on August 10 to identify shops owned by Nigerian traders, requesting their registration of business taxes, resident permit, standard control and the GIPC.
Nnaji also noted that they were asked to “employ a minimum of 25 skilled Ghanaian workers” and “must not trade in commodities that Ghanaian traders have applied to trade in”.
He called on the federal government to come to their aid, saying their livelihoods are being affected.
“Most of our members do not have the GIPC registration, because it requires one million dollars cash or equity and they gave us 14 days within which to regularise,” said Nnaji.
“As of Thursday, they had moved to another area and started locking up shops of Nigerian traders.
“Nigerian life in Ghana matters. This is the livelihoods of Nigerians being destroyed by Ghanaian authorities. This is not being perpetrated by a trade union, but Ghanaian authorities.
“They demanded that we must employ a minimum of 25 skilled Ghanaian workers and must not trade in commodities that Ghanaian traders have applied to trade in.
“The humiliation of Nigerians is getting out of hand. We are calling on the Nigerian government to come to our aid.”
He also said the traders had legally registered their businesses and they also pay taxes.
The development comes weeks after some armed men invaded the Nigerian high commission in Accra, demolishing some apartments that were under construction.