Nigeria To End Harassment Of Citizens In Ghana 

Joseph Bakare

The federal government has frowned at continued harassment of Nigerians in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities.

The federal government has therefore resolved to put an end to such acts.

In this regard, Nigeria is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.

The government has been documenting the acts of hostility

towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities.

These include: Seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes

Road, Accra, which the Nigerian Government has used as diplomatic

premises for almost 50 years.

This action is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention.

Government also mentioned the demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, another serious breach of

the Vienna Convention.

Among others are aggressive  and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana.

Between January 2018 and February 2019, 825 Nigerians were deported from

Ghana.

Also Ghana closed shops belonging to Nigerians and over 300 Nigerians shops

were locked for four months in Kumasi in 2018; over 600 Nigerian shops

were locked in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have 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 (US$120, and US$60 for yearly renewal); Medical examinations, including for Covid-19 which is newly-introduced (about US$120), and payment for residency permit (US$400 compared to the

N7,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria)

Also, there were 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 US$300,000 by way of equity capital and

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 US$1m. Though targeted at foreigners, it seems GIPC’s definition of foreigners is Nigerians. The GIPC Act also negates the

ECOWAS Protocol.

Also, there is Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of

issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is

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.

There is harsh and openly-biased judicial trial and pronouncement of

indiscriminately-long jail terms for convicted Nigerians.

There are currently over 200 Nigerians in the Nsawam Maximum prison in Ghana

alone.

The Federal Government will like to put on record the fact that even

though over 1 million Ghanaians are resident in Nigeria, they are not

being subjected to the kind of hostility being meted out to Nigerians

in Ghana.

Also, Even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal

Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal

of 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.

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.

In the meantime, government wished to appeal to its citizens resident in Ghana to remain law abiding and avoid engaging in self help, despite their ordeal.

Add Comment