Five months after a series of bilateral talks between the Nigerian government and authorities in Ghana aimed at addressing the nearly a decade-long controversy that led to the closure of Nigerian traders’ shops in Ghana, the issues have not been resolved.
Dozens of shops belonging to Nigerians are still under lock and key; while most of the owners are stranded. Some of them said they beg to feed even as many of them remain reluctant to come back home despite a window created by the federal government to facilitate their safe return.
The centre of the lingering controversy was a $1 million levy imposed on Nigerian traders and other foreign investors to pay Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), before the shops would be opened.
The conditions set by the Ghanaian authorities had triggered a debate in Nigeria and within the African sub-region, which many considered as a breach of ECOWAS’ trade protocols.
After receiving a formal complaint from its citizens, the Nigerian government set up a ministerial committee to find a lasting solution to the plight of the traders but it appeared not much has been achieved.