Resolution of dispute on $1m equity for Nigerian traders in Ghana to wait till after election – Dabiri-Erewa
Any hope for the amicable resolution of the dispute brought about by the imposition of a compulsory $1 million equity for Nigerian traders in Ghana will have to wait until after the conclusion of the December 7 election in that country, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said.
According to Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke on Channels Television morning programme, Sunrise on Monday, it was painful that engagements with the Ghanaian authorities on the plight of Nigerian traders in the country haven’t achieved the desired results.
She also revealed that two affected Nigerian traders attempted suicide recently but are currently undergoing therapy.
The NIDCOM boss further disclosed that the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; amongst others, were looking at the request of the Nigerian traders.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that some of the traders had presented a letter to the Federal Government requesting that they be evacuated from the West African country.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that the Ghanaian presidential election of December 7, 2020, must come and go before tangible agreements were reached.
“Elections are coming. You know there is something political about this. Let’s face it. The President of Ghana will not want to go against his own citizens and majority of the Ghanaian traders have said we don’t want them (Nigerian traders).
“Don’t let us deceive ourselves, nothing will happen before December 7. “There is nothing ECOWAS can achieve before the election. Election must be won or lost.”
The NIDCOM boss, who noted that the evacuation of the traders would come at psychological, economic and social cost, however expressed optimism that the bilateral dispute would be resolved.
“We don’t have a problem at the government level; we have a problem at the people level. The government of Ghana has willingly said, ‘Open these shops’ but the people are not complying.
“I hope you know that three years ago, a Nigerian lady committed suicide. And as I speak with you, another two are on the verge of suicide but they are going through some kind of counselling with the message of hope that things will be better.
“As at today, it’s been over one year. Now, they have to pay rent for their shops, they don’t have money for rent. How can you pay rent when your shop has been closed forever?”