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Nigerian Senator calls on Ghana to re-open shops of nationals

By Daily Trust (Abuja)

A Nigerian Senator has called on the government of Ghana to order the reopening of shops belonging to Nigerians which have been closed in the country.

Speaking to Senate Correspondents on March 12, 2008, Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya, said the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre last year closed down some shops belonging to Nigerian businessmen in the country.

He said: "After a series of dialogue between the Nigerian Minister of Commerce and his Ghanaian counterpart together with the ECOWAS Commission president, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the shops are yet to be reopened."

The Senator said as part of the ECOWAS free trade zones, "Nigerians in Ghana are supposed to be allowed to do their legitimate business without hindrance. We are not speaking for those who are involved in illicit trades but for those who are into legitimate business, we call on Ghana to allow them."

He said the two countries were benefiting from their bi-lateral relations and stressed the need for efforts on both sides to maintain the good relations between the two countries.

He promised to continue with the efforts to solve the matter saying, "there may be need for a proper motion to be moved in the Senate."

The GEPC last year closed down some shops in the central business district of Accra for violating the trade laws of the country.

That followed a demonstration by the Ghana Union Traders Association who claimed the operators of such shops were engaged in retail trade in violation of the Ghana trade laws.

The law requires foreign entities to have not less than $300,000 dollars to be able to do business in the country.

That is meant to ensure that the retail sector which employs majority of the population is not taken over by foreigners.

Among the shops closed were those owned by Nigerians.

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