Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- In a reaction to the unfavourable business practice targeted at Nigerians doing business in Ghana, the Federal Government has assured them of its support and protection.
Nigerians doing business in Ghana, regardless of the size, are said to be mandated to have an initial capital of $300,000 and employ 10 locals before they can open shop.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said on Wednesday that the Federal Government acknowledged the long standing cordial relationship between the two countries but will not stand by and watch her citizens being maltreated particularly if the practice is in flagrant violation of the ECOWAS protocol on movement of persons and goods.
Maku who was responding to questions from State House correspondents on the issue, said that with the Federal Government and ECOWAS intervention, Ghanaian authority will reconsider its stance.
"Nigeria and Ghana enjoy very cordial and friendly relations; it is one of our foremost business partners in the West African sub-region,” he said.
"In ECOWAS we share common values, common vision for this sub continent and Ghana has always supported Nigeria on all major issues within and outside Africa and we also always stand by Ghana. This two countries perhaps have more cordial relationship in this sub-region and our people have learnt to live together ad yes there will always be disagreement between neighbours on issues even between husbands and wives, there are times of quarrel.
"But in particular reference to the incidence in Ghana, the government within the rules outlined by ECOWAS and other international conventions made presentations on behalf of Nigerians in Ghana and currently the information available is that Ghana is also considering the suspension if the demands on Nigerians in Ghana, following the intervention of the Nigerian government and the ECOWAS parliament. That doesn't mean that the problem is finally resolved, but that it creates an opportunity for both Nigeria and Ghana to resolve these problems amicably.
"What is most important for us as a leading nation in ECOWAS and in the African sub region is to create and environment where our citizens should be able to participate freely in all economic activities. ECOWAS is one of the greatest examples of regional integration in the continent and it has served the economies of member states in West Africa.
"We have also collaborated with other countries even on security stretched across to all member countries and Nigeria believes that in working together this region has more to benefit and that in allowing our citizens to compete freely in the market place we also create the synergy that will lead to competition, development and indeed defeat poverty in the sub region.
"So I assure you that both Nigeria and Ghana will continue to work together to resolve any teething problems that will arise as we continue to integrate West Africa and to promote economic development, fight poverty and the development of this subregion".
The Ghanaian government had imposed high tariff on Nigerian movies and restricted Nigerian actors from shooting films in Ghana. Nigeria’s telecommunication giant, Globacom was caught up with the high cost of doing business which caused it to delay some crucial aspects of its operations last year.
Nigerian businessmen operating in Ghana said the Ghanaian authorities had commenced closing their shops for allegedly operating illegally.
They said their shops were closed because they were said not to comply with the government policy which requires them to have an initial capital of $300,000 and employ 10 Ghanaians before they can start any business in Ghana regardless of the size of the business.
They alleged that those who locked up their shops when they saw the Ghanaian law enforcement agents coming had their shops reopened with security keys with the intention of giving out the abandoned shops to the Ghanaians”.