The Nigerian Government says it would no longer tolerate harassment of its citizens in Ghana, following the incessant harassment of its citizens in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who made the statement on Friday, lamented that the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities.
The Nigerian Government while considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation, said it has documented the acts of hostility towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Ghanaian authorities.
The statement noted the seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which the Nigerian Government has used as diplomatic premises for almost 50 years.
According to the statement, the action was a serious breach of the Vienna Convention.
The minister also recalled the demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21.
Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, as another serious breach of the Vienna Convention.
“Even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal of lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authorities 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.
“Nigeria has, time after time, demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana.
“But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule.
“This will no longer be tolerated under any guise,” the statement read.
The statement also noted the aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana as another sad diplomatic move, saying: “Between January 2018 and February 2019, 825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana.”
While recalling the closure of over 300 shops belonging to Nigerians for four months in Kumasi in 2018, the minister also said that over 600 Nigerian shops were locked in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have been locked.
The statement also lamented the placement of huge fees on the Residency Permit requirement by the Ghana Immigration Service, which according to it, is higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service.
These include the compulsory Non-citizen ID card (US$120, and US$60 for yearly renewal); Medical examinations, including for Covid-19 which is newly-introduced (about US$120).
Others include the payment for a residency permit (US$400 compared to the N7,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria).
The statement also cried out over the outrageous stipulations in the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act.
“When the Act was initially promulgated in 1994, a foreigner was required to invest at least US$300,000 by way of equity capital and also employ 10 Ghanaians.
“This Act has now been amended twice, with the 2018 GIPC Act raising the minimum capital base for foreign-owned businesses to US$1m.
“Though targeted at foreigners, it seems GIPC’s definition of foreigners is Nigerians. The GIPC Act also negates the ECOWAS Protocol,” the statement said.