Image

NIGERIA VS GHANA: GHANAIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS OF MALTREATMENT OF NIGERIANS

The Ghanaian Government on Sunday responded to the Nigerian Government's accusation of maltreating Nigerians living in Ghana. 


Recall that Nigeria‚Äôs minister of Information Lai Mohammed on Friday, August 28, said the country would no longer tolerate the incessant harassment and acts of hostility towards Nigerians living in Ghana.


The Nigerian minister issued the warning following reports that Ghana had closed Nigerian owned shops. 


In a response issued on Sunday, August 30, Ghana's Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah tackled each accusation made by the Nigerian government, adding that Ghana is committed to maintaining a warm relationship with Nigeria. 


The Ghanaian government also defended the $1m trade levy imposed on foreign traders in its country, noting that it was astonishing that Nigeria would describe the laws of a sovereign state as outrageous. 


Read Also: I WOULD GIVE OUT PALLIATIVES TO NIGERIANS WHOSE SHOPS WERE LOCKED UP BU SECURITY OPERATIVES IN GHANA


Moreso, Ghana pointed out that Nigeria had in recent times taken steps in pursuit of National interests even at the expense of neighbouring countries.


Below are some of the excerpts of the response from Ghana: 


Accusation: The seizure of the Nigerian Missions property located at No. 10. Burnes Roud.

Aaza which has been used as diplomatic premises by the Nigerian Government for almost 50 years; and which action, is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention


Response: This statement is inaccurate. The transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana on 23rd October 1959.


The terms of the Commercial Lease expired 46 years ago, without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana. The Government of Ghana was not involved in the transaction and has not seized the property in question.


Accusation: Also, even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10 Barnes Road in Aera is the non-renewal of Lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authority did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the Lease. By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized. Response: The Government of Ghana does not, did not and never owned the land, and has not been involved in the seizure of any property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana. The land in question is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission. In response to the claim that the lease on some of the properties owned by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, it must be noted that the Government acquired a freehold land at Pope John Paul II Street in Abuja in 1989 through a commercial arrangement, and built the current structures on it. The staff of the Ghana High Commission in Abuja have been living there since the construction of the current structures.


Accusation: Demolition of the Nigerian Mission's property located at No. 19/21 Inlins Nyerere Street. East Rider. Aan which constitutes another serious breach of the Vienna Convention


Response: This statement is not factual. A search at the Lands Commission indicated that the Nigerian High Commission failed to complete the documentation process after paying for the land in the year 2000 A.D. The High Commission failed to acquire the Lease and Land Title Certificate, which constitute documentation for the said property, as well as a building permit for construction. In Ghana, land is owned not only by the Government but also by Stools and Families. The demolition of the property was not carried out by agents of the Ghanaian


Government, but by agents of the Osu Stool. Nonetheless, the Government Ghana, valuing the relations between our two countries, has decided to restore the property, at its own cost, to its original state for the Nigerian High Commission, and has duly communicated same to the Nigerian Authorities. The Government of Ghana has also agreed to facilitate the proper acquisition of title by the Nigerian High Commission, as announced by Ghana's Minister for 

Foreign Affairs at the time of the incident.



Accusation: Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana. Between January 2018 and February 2019, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five (825) Nigerians were deported from Ghana.


Response: This statement is not factual. In 2019, seven hundred (700) Nigerians, who were found to have been involved in criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery etc., were deported.


Accusation: Residency permit requirement, for which Ghana Immigration Service has placed huge fees far higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service. These include the compulsory non- citizen ID card (US$120, US$ 60 for yearly renewal); medical examinations, including for COVID-19 which is newly introduced (about US$ 120), and payment for residency permit (US$ 400 compared to the N700,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria).


Response: It must be noted that all foreigners, who apply for resident permit in Ghana, pay same fees as stated above. These fees are not specific to Nigerians.


Accusation: "Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is fuclling an emerging xenophobic attitude against Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general.

The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops."


Response: The statement is not factual. There is no media war against Nigerians in Ghana. There is also no negative reportage on Nigerian residents in Ghana by Ghanaian media, which could potentially lead to xenophobic attitude towards Nigerians, particularly Nigerian traders in Ghana.


No Nigerian trader has been arrested. The closure of shops was as a result of infractions on Ghanaian laws. Even then, those affected who are not only Nigerians, have been given ample time to regularise their documents. Furthermore, no Nigerian-owned shops are currently closed.


Read Also: GHANA MULLS REOPENING BORDERS BY SEPTEMBER 1ST

Comments


Join WhatApp Group