The federal government says it will no longer tolerate the incessant harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by the Ghanaian authorities.
In a statement issued Friday in Abuja, the government said it was urgently considering a number of options aimed at improving the situation.
The statement signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the government had been documenting acts of hostility towards its people and authorities.
The minister listed those hostilities to include the seizure of property from the Nigerian Mission located at 10 Barnes Road, Accra, which the Nigerian Government had used as a diplomatic venue for nearly 50 years.
He said the government considered the action a serious violation of the Vienna Convention.
Mohammed added that the demolition of the Nigerian Mission property located at 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, was another serious violation of the Vienna Convention.
He said the government also frowned at the aggressive and relentless deportation of Nigerians from Ghana, noting that between January 2018 and February 2019, no fewer than 825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana.
Mohammed pointed out that more than 300 Nigerian stores were closed for four months in Kumasi in 2018, while more than 600 Nigerian stores were closed in 2019, and currently, more than 250 Nigerian stores have been closed.
“Residence permit requirements for which the Ghana Immigration Service has charged huge fees, much higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service.
“These include the mandatory non-citizen identification card (US $ 120 and US $ 60 for annual renewal), medical examinations, including Covid-19, which has recently been introduced (about US $ 120), and payment of the residence permit (US $ 400 compared to N 7,000 Ghanaians pay for a residence card in Nigeria) ”.
The minister also identified outrageous provisions in the Ghana Investment Promotion Center Act. “When the law was initially enacted in 1994, a foreigner must invest at least US $ 300,000 in the form of equity capital and they also employ 10 Ghanaians.
“This Act has now been amended twice, and the GIPC Act 2018 raises the minimum capital base for foreign-owned companies to one million US dollars.
“Although it is aimed at foreigners, it appears that the GIPC definition of foreigners is Nigerian. The GIPC Law also denies the ECOWAS Protocol. The minister said that the Federal Government disapproves of the media war against Nigerians in Ghana.
“It raised the alarm that negative reporting on issues related to Nigerians residing in Ghana by the Ghanaian media was fueling an emerging xenophobic attitude towards Nigerian merchants and Nigerians in general.
“The immediate consequences are the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian merchants and the closure of their stores.
“Severe and openly biased judicial trial and the pronouncement of discriminatory long prison terms for convicted Nigerians. “There are currently more than 200 Nigerians in Ghana’s Nsawam Maximum prison alone,” he said.
Mohammed said the government would like to put on record that although more than one million Ghanaians reside in Nigeria, they are not being subjected to the kind of hostility that is being inflicted on Nigerians in Ghana.
It added that although the main reason given for the seizure of the Federal Government property at 10 Barnes Road in Accra was the non-renewal of the lease after it expired, the Ghanaian authorities did not grant Nigeria the right to score or notice. to renew the lease.
“In contrast, the lease for some of the properties occupied by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, but those properties have not been seized.
“Nigeria has shown time and again its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana.
“But there are signs, especially in recent times, that Nigeria’s position is now taken for granted and that its citizens are being harassed and ridiculed.
“This will no longer be tolerated under any pretext,” he said.
According to Mohammed, the government calls on its citizens residing in Ghana to abide by the law and avoid self-help, despite their ordeal.