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HURIWA tasks Buhari to tax Ghanian traders $5 million each to trade in Nigeria

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President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo Photo: AFP


Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to tax Ghanian traders in Nigeria $5 million dollars per trader as a licensing fee to continue trading in the country.

It urged the Nigerian government to wake up to her responsibility to her citizens by defending them from the unwarranted attacks by the Ghanaian government through immediate retaliatory action against Nigerians living in Ghana.

The group was reacting to the statement credited to the Ghana Union of Trade Associations (GUTA), who had pressured the government to make a law mandating any foreigner wishing to engage in trade in Ghana to show proof of having a deposit of US$300,000 in his or her company account or goods equivalent to that amount in stock.

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In a statement signed on Monday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA added that one of the areas that leave more to be desired in the administrative style of President Muhammadu Buhari was his lack of an effective approach to provide formidable shields to secure Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to the point that experts are beginning to conclude that Nigeria has virtually become a failed State.

HURIWA argued that it is evident that the hostile attitudes towards Nigeria and Nigerians by the Republic of Ghana and Ghanaians have been on the steady rise in recent years, adding that Ghanaians have been on the margins of levying xenophobic attacks, especially on Nigerians in spite of the sisterly historic ties between the two Anglophone West African countries.

According to the non-governmental organization, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonization of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market, and an eventual culmination into a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.

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HURIWA maintained that no doubt that Nigerian laws provide one of the best legal protections for foreign investors in the world, stressing that the 1999 Nigeria Constitution gives equal rights and treatment to foreigners and nationals alike.

“Our foreign policy thrust must change, while we should maintain an open door to Africa, we must do so with Nigeria’s interests first and uppermost in all our doings. We should place more emphasis on advancing our economic interests.

We are calling for a rejig; a fine-tuning of our foreign policy; one that emphasizes the core, existential interests of our country and people.

“The ECOWAS trade policy is meant to foster the smooth integration of the region into free movement without any quantitative restriction as well as non-payment of compensation. Why is the current administration too weak to protect Nigerians and the integrity of our sovereignty?

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We demand that Nigeria take immediate retaliatory action against these evil actions against Nigerians in Ghana by making a law mandating Ghanaian Traders in Nigeria to henceforth pay $5 million per trader as a licensing fee to continue trading in Nigeria since Nigerian traders in Ghana are asked to pay $1 million.

We urge Nigeria to be more pro-active in protecting her citizens in foreign jurisprudence, starting with the case in Ghana by demanding that the Nigerian traders be allowed to legally do their legitimate businesses in Ghana or Nigeria drives away all Ghanaian traders in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s diplomatic ties with other countries cannot be said to be sound when its citizens abroad with legitimate rights of residence or visit are gratuitously harassed, killed and their property destroyed. Abike Dabiri Erewa who heads the Diaspora Commission should not pick and choose which set of Nigerians living abroad her commission will speak for on the basis of whether they are Yorubas or Igbos. Her office and the minister of Foreign affairs and his assistant minister must wake up and speak for Nigerians in Ghana.

President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration should stop making Nigeria the laughing stock of the international community and speak and take concrete reciprocal actions to defend Nigeria and Nigerians. Its time Nigeria reinvents its diplomacy for vibrancy, which in the past attracted respect in the comity of nations, ” the statement noted.

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