We will no longer tolerate incessant harassment of Nigerians in Ghana, says FG
The Nigerian Government on Friday warned the Ghanian authorities that it will no longer tolerate the incessant harassment of it’s citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and Culture, who made this known, said Government is deeply concerned about the situation and is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.
The minister said Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana. But said 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”, he warned.
“The Federal Government will like to 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”, he added.
Mohammed, who stated this in a statement he personally signed, said the Federal Government has been documenting the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities.
These, he said includes; 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.
Demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra.
“These actions are a serious breach of the Vienna Convention”Mohammed said.
Others are; 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. He said 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, which includes 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 which 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”, Mohammed said.
“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”, the minister added.
The minister also said Nigerians face harsh and openly-biased judicial trial and pronouncement of indiscriminately-long jail terms for . According to him, there are currently over 200 Nigerians in the Nsawam Maximum prison in Ghana
The minister, however, appealed to Nigerian citizens resident in Ghana to remain law abiding and avoid engaging inself help, despite their ordeal.