The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is working on finding a lasting solution to the continuous trade disagreements between Nigerian businessmen in Ghana and the Ghanaian authorities. This comes as Nigerians continue to protest against what they termed acts of discrimination against them by the Ghanaian government over the years which if left unattended, may snowball into a more serious confrontations.

Finda Koroma

Assuring on the readiness of the subregional body to Wade into the problem with hope to finding lasting solution, the Director, Microeconomic Analysis, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, David Adeosun, who was part of the Federal Government’s delegation at the meeting, said ECOWAS is working on the matter.

The invitation of ECOWAS became necessary as Ghanaian officials sealed off the shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Accra for allegedly failing to have the $1m equity stipulated by the Ghana Investment Promotions Council (GIPC).

In response, the Federal Government of Nigeria faulted the closure of the business premises belonging to Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities, saying it would consider retaliatory actions.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had stated that the government might drag Ghana to the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States if found to have breached the sub-region’s Protocol of Free Movement of People.

Commenting on the development at the ECOWAS workshop in Abuja, Adeosun assured aggrieved Nigerians that the issue would be deliberated on at the workshop for proper solution.

He said, “I want to believe that this workshop will equally be able to proffer some solutions in terms of this issue. We shouldn’t give room for member states to see themselves as rivals.“Rather, we should work together and complement each other’s efforts to be able to move the sub-region forward. I want to see ECOWAS as a sub-region that surpasses European union.”

At the opening session of the workshop, the Vice President, ECOWAS Commission, Finda Koroma, said the heads of state of various governments adopted the ECOWAS Vision 2020 in June 2007 as a roadmap of transformation of the sub-region into a borderless, peace

Koroma, who was represented by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance, Halima Ahmed, stated that during the implementation of this vision, remarkable achievements had been recorded by the member states. He noted that since the implementation of Vision 2020 would come to an end in December, ECOWAS and member states in January 2019 started moves for the development of post 2020 Vision, now referred to as ECOWAS Vision 2050.

Observers are of the view that the recent closure is politically motivated as Ghanaian politicians use the closures to wipe up sentiments from their support base back home for support in the upcoming elections.

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