Some Nigerians on Monday, 24 September 2018 staged a demonstration in Abuja against what they describe as intimidation of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
The Nigerians say Ghanaian authorities have closed over 400 shops belonging their kith and kin living in Ghana.
They claim their compatriots in Ghana are living in fear and are in a state of insecurity.
The protesters handed over a petition to the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Secretariat in Abuja and want the regional body to intervene.
“This is a save-our-soul call and the urgency of this protest is to inform you of the state of fear, uncertainty and insecurity that Nigerian traders are currently subjected to at the hands of the government and people of Ghana in different cities under the coordination of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” the petition stated.
It is illegal for non-Ghanaians to engage in retail trade in Ghana.
Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry gave a 27 July 2018 deadline to all non-Ghanaians in the retail industry, to stop their businesses or face legal action.
The Ministry, in a statement, said: “Notice is hereby given to all non-Ghanaians who are engaged in retail trading activities contrary to the provision of the Act [GIPC Law 2013] to desist from doing so. All persons engaged in such practices are, therefore, advised to stop to avoid legal actions being taken against them”.
It added that: “Offenders are entreated to move out of the markets by Friday, 27 July 2018.”
According to the laws of Ghana, the retail sector is reserved for Ghanaians.
Over the years, members of the Ghana Traders Union Association (GUTA) have had cause to worry about the influx of foreigners in the retail sector.