ECOWAS pleads with Ghana to stay expulsion of Nigerian traders
APA, ABUJA (NIGERIA),
dimanche 24 juin 2012, par Administrateur
The speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu, has pleaded with the Ghanaian authorities to stay action for four months on the deadline given to Nigeria traders to leave the country.
Ekweremadu made this plea when Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairperson of the Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora led her committee to meet with the speaker in Abuja on Sunday.
Ekweremadu, who doubles as the Deputy Senate President in the Nigerian Senate said the grace of four months will enable the parliament to look into the issue and resolve it amicably.
Ekweremadu said as a sub-regional bloc, ECOWAS should be strengthened and not weakened by some policies in the region.
The speaker recalled that the ECOWAS trade treaty in place allows free and unhindered lawful trading activities among the citizens of the sub-region.
He said the purported deportation order on Nigerian traders in ̅Ghana was against the integration policy of the bloc.
Earlier, Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the Committee was inundated with a series of petitions from Nigerian traders in Ghana on the discriminatory attitude against them by the Ghanaian authorities.
The lawmaker said if any Nigeria businessman commits any crime, such person should be punished accordingly as against hiding under any harsh law to deport Nigerian traders.
“We are not here to beg anybody. But we are saying such trade laws do not promote regional integration which ECOWAS stands for”, she said.
Dabiri-Erewa said that the Ghanaian trade policy if not checked by ECOWAS, was capable of affecting over 85 per cent of Nigerians living in Ghana.
She said it would be of economic interest to Ghana to allow free lawful trading activities in line with ECOWAS trade treaty as it would enhance the principles of integration in the sub-region.
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act of 1994, Section 18 (Act 478) stipulates that any foreigner wishing to engage in trading in Ghana must possess a capital of US$300,000 or the same amount in equity. Such trader must also employ 10 Ghanaians.
The deadline given by the government of Ghana for all traders who could not meet up expired on Wednesday, June 20.