Nigerian envoy slammed over ‘Nigerians Not Foreigners’ comment

Murtala Mohammed

Former Deputy Trades and Industry Minister Murtala Mohammed has described as “undiplomatic” comments made by Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Olufemi Abikoye that moves by the government of Ghana to rid the retail markets of Nigerians is inappropriate.

In an interview with TV3, the Nigerian High Commissioner said the decision by government to sack Nigerians as part of foreigners is not in conformity with Ecowas laws.

But speaking to 3FM’s Sunrise host Winston Amoah on Tuesday, Murtala  Mohammed said: “The Nigerian High Commissioner is behaving like an undiplomatic diplomat”.

According to him, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) laws state that foreigners cannot engage in retail business particularly at certain designated areas; hence, government is on the right track by putting measures in place to get rid of foreign retailers.

“No one can say they should not engage in such businesses, but where you have foreigners [and] not only Nigerians who are transacting businesses at designated areas, that is indeed against the law,” he stated.

He further stated that during his tenure at the Trades Ministry, there was an open-door policy as well as series of discussions and dialogues with the then Nigerian High Commissioner and the Chinese community to be abreast with laws governing the operation of foreigners in Ghana.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Joseph Padi, who was also speaking on 3FM said the Nigerian High Commissioner does not understand and appreciate the issues pertaining to foreign trade in Ghana.

“The GIPC law states that every foreigner starting a business in Ghana must be legitimate [and] go to immigration to register your documentations.

READ ALSO:  GUTA: Gov’ts sleeping on the job in Ghana-Nigeria retail row

“We don’t want hawking and table-top investors; we want investors who will bring employment to our people. If we have foreigners roasting corn like the Ghanaians are doing, is that what we’re looking for as a country?” he questioned.

Mr Padi further stated that GUTA will compel the Ministry to enforce the laws of the land.

Meanwhile, government has suspended the ban on foreign trade in the country which was to take effect on July 27, 2018.

By Delphina Abbey||Ghana