House of Representatives on Wednesday called on Federal Government to impose heavy fees on Ghanaians trading in Nigeria if diplomatic efforts to reverse similar treatment on Nigerian traders in Ghana failed.
It also urged the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be pro-active in giving diplomatic assistance to Nigerian citizens abroad.
Resolutions to this effect were adopted following a report by the Committee on Public Petitions, which investigated the imposition of registration fee of $300,000 on Nigerian traders by the Ghanaian authorities last year.
Presenting the report during the plenary session, committee Chairman, Cyril Maduabum, said the Nigerian Union of Traders in Ghana led by Eze Chukwudi Mayor had in December last year petitioned the House asking it to intervene in the matter.
Maduabum said on November 28, 2007, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, in tandem with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and with the support of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, embarked on the closure of shops and business premises of foreign nationals in Ghana.
According to him, the petitioners said thereafter shop owners from other countries were directed to reopen their shops but those owned by Nigerians were ordered to remain closed until their businesses were re-registered with proof of an initial capital of $300,000 before they could reopen.
He informed his colleagues that while investigating the matter officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ECOWAS made presentations to the committee while the Ghanaian High Commission to Nigeria was summoned twice by the ministry.
Daily Independent (Lagos)