"> Nigeria Will No Longer Tolerate Harassment of Its Citizens in Ghana - FG - Sahel Standard
November 28, 2020
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Nigeria Will No Longer Tolerate Harassment of Its Citizens in Ghana – FG

The Nigerian Government is deeply concerned by the incessant
harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of
hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities, and will no
longer tolerate such.

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

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in a statement on Friday said the Federal 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.
  • 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.
  • Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana.
    Between Jan. 2018 and Feb. 2019, 825 Nigerians were deported from
    Ghana.
  • Closure of shops belonging to Nigerians. 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

He said FG will 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” the statement said.

The Minister said in the meantime, the Federal Government is appealing to its citizens resident in Ghana to remain law abiding and avoid engaging in
self help, despite their ordeal.

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