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Business Ghana Will 'Cry' For Evicting Nigerian Traders from its Country, Association Predicts


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The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) on Thursday declared that the Ghanaian Government would regret sacking its members from Ghana markets.

The President of the association, Mr Ken Ukoha, stated this in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Ukoha said Ghana would ``cry had I known’’ in the long run for its hostilities towards Nigerian traders in Ghana.

He recalled that the Ghanaian Trade Ministry had last week directed non-natives to vacate all markets in the country or face the wrath of the law.

He said that the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) had persistently mounted pressure on the authorities to eject non-Ghanaians from markets.

Ukoha said that the authority, in its directive, gave a 30-day ultimatum to all non-Ghanaians in retail trading to vacate all the markets in the country.

He added that the Ghanaian Trade Ministry had earlier raised the minimum capital for foreigners to do business in the country from 300,000 U.S. dollars to 1 million U.S. dollars in cash or goods.

He said all the measures were targeted at Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Ukoha, however, said that though the development would create economic turbulence for the Nigerian traders, the impact would only be felt for a short time.

He stated that ``the business activities of Nigerian traders benefits Ghanaians too’’ in spite of whatever the Ghanaians claim.

The president said that the repatriation of Nigerian petty traders from Ghana would have more negative economic impact on Ghana itself than it would on Nigeria.

``The Ghanaian economy will feel it because the exit of Nigerians from that economy will affect their revenue generation.

``The reason being that most of the taxes collected are Nigerian bound revenue.

``What mini business operators are doing in Ghana is to redistribute wealth in Ghana; with their expatriation, their funds will be redirected to Nigeria.

``I know that Ghana will `cry had I known’ in the long run.

``There are more than two million Nigerian traders in Ghana and if they are repatriated we will welcome them home,’’ he said.

According to him, the affected Nigerian traders were small entrepreneurs that would not find it too difficult to relocate to either Nigeria or any other West African country to continue their business.

He said that the implication of the Ghanaian decision would be more on ECOWAS as a whole because it would threaten the regional integration process.

``Ghana needs to consider the implication of their decision on the future of ECOWAS as an entity and how the regional integration process will be affected,’’ he said.

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