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FG may approach ECOWAS court over attack on Nigerian traders in Ghana

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said on Monday the Federal Government may approach the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court for a lasting solution to the incessant attack on Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Onyeama stated this when representatives of the Nigerian traders in Ghana under the Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN) paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The association visited the minister to solicit for the urgent intervention of the federal government in the recurring attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Onyeama said the Nigerian government had proactively swung into action immediately to address the situation within the shortest time possible.

The minister, however, noted that one of the measures for a concrete solution was to get in touch with ECOWAS to know its perspective on the situation and if the Ghanaian retail code was in contravention to ECOWAS protocols.

Onyeama said it is also very important to get all the facts of the situation before the Nigerian government could act and engage with the Ghanaian authorities.

The Nigerian traders had last week accused the Ghanaian government of closing their shops over non-payment of registration fees.

READ ALSO: Ghanaian govt insists Nigerian traders must pay $1m, other fees

The minister said: “What is the point of having an economic community if at the end of the day each country will make laws and regulations in contradiction of that?

“This has been a recurring nightmare and concrete measures need to be taken and the first step we want to take is to be sure of all the facts before we act.

“So, this will entail hearing from the Ghanaian government, the Minister of Trade is going to engage his Ghanaian counterpart.

“We have summoned the Ghanaian High Commissioner, who has given us information; we have the intention of recalling our Charge d affaires in Ghana for consultations.

“We need to get the facts because she is on the ground there.

“We are also going to get in touch with ECOWAS to also understand clearly what the ECOWAS perspective on this is, with this law that is in contravention of the ECOWAS protocol.

“So, once we have all the facts then we will consider all our options with the Ghanaian government; we don’t want to anticipate what our actions will be but all our options will depend on the facts.

“Clearly, if it is contravening the ECOWAS protocol, then we would have to now look at ECOWAS solution, including the ECOWAS court as a final arbiter.”

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