QUIT ORDER TO NIGERIANS: REPS C'TTEE ON DIASPORA DRAGS GHANA TO ECOWAS
The House of Representatives' committee on Diaspora has taken the government of Ghana to the ECOWAS parliament for violating the ECOWAS Trade treaty. That country had ordered Nigerian traders to leave the country.
The chairperson of the committee, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend.
At a meeting with the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament and deputy president of Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, Dabiri-Erewa said that the Committee was inundated with series of petitions from Nigerian traders in Ghana regarding the discriminatory attitude against them by the Ghanaian authorities.
Lamenting the difficult business terrain created by Ghanaian authorities to frustrate Nigerian traders, the lawmaker said that the committee was not trying to shield any criminal from prosecution but added that if any Nigerian businessman committed any crime, such person should be punished accordingly as against hiding under any harsh law to deport Nigerian traders.
'Mr Speaker sir, we are not here to beg anybody. But we are saying that such trade laws does not promote regional integration which ECOWAS stands for', she said.
Dabiri-Erewa said that the Ghanaian Trade policy if not checked by ECOWAS, was capable of affecting over 85 per cent Nigerians living in Ghana while noting that it would be of economic interest to Ghana to allow free lawful trading activities in line with ECOWAS trade treaty as it would enhance the principles of integration in the sub region.
Responding, Ekweremadu appealed to Ghanaian authorities to stay action for four months after the expiration of the deadline given to Nigerian traders to leave the country to enable them resolve the issue amicably and stressed that ECOWAS should be strengthened and not weakened by some policies of member countries.
Highlighting the objectives of ECOWAS trade treaty, he noted that it aimed to enhance free and unhindered lawful trading activities among the citizens of the subregion and that the purported deportation order on Nigerian traders and other African traders in Ghana was against the integration policy of the sub region.