Nigeria To Approach ECOWAS Court Over Ghana’s Hostility

Moses Ofodeme

Nigeria has opted to approach the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court to seek a lasting solution to the continuous attack on Nigerian traders in Ghana.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, dropped the hint on Monday, August 17, in Abuja when representatives of the Nigerian traders in Ghana under the Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN) paid him a visit on Monday in Abuja.

The Association during the visit solicited for urgent intervention of the Nigerian government in the recurring attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Onyeama said that the Nigerian government has proactively swung into action immediately; to address the situation within the shortest time possible.

The Minister, however, noted that one of the measures for a concrete solution was to get in touch with ECOWAS to know its perspective on the situation and if the Ghanaian retail code was in contravention to ECOWAS protocols.

Onyeama said it is also very important to get all the facts of the situation; before the Nigerian government can act and engage with the Ghanaian authorities.

“What is the point of having an economic community if at the end of the day each country would make laws and regulations in contradiction to that.

“This has been a recurring nightmare and concrete measures need to be taken; and the first step we want to take is to be sure of all the facts before we act.

“So, this will entail hearing from the Ghanaian government, the Minister of trade is going to engage his Ghanaian counterpart.

“We have summoned the Ghanaian High Commissioner, who has given us information, we have the intention of recalling our Charge d affaires in Ghana for consultations.

“And again to get the facts because she is on the ground there.

“We are also going to get in touch with ECOWAS; to also understand clearly what the ECOWAS perspective on this is; with this law in contravention of the ECOWAS protocol.

“So, once we have all the facts then we will consider all our options with the Ghanaian government; so we don’t what to anticipate what our actions will be but all our options will be there depending on the facts.

“Clearly, if it is contravening the ECOWAS protocol, then we would have to now look at ECOWAS solution; including the ECOWS court as a final arbiter,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama said another issue to be looked into is on reciprocity; stating that Nigeria has created an enabling environment for Ghanaians to operate in Nigeria; and so, Nigerians should enjoy the same privilege in Ghana.

He assured that the Nigerian traders are following this proactively; and that the matter would be addressed in the shortest times possible.

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